(Ll]c UntDersitij of XioxiVi darolina
ENDOWED B Y
JOHN SPRUKT HILL
of the class of 1889
NORTH CAROLINIAN A ^*
) I - -~
This book must not
be taken from the
orm /Vo. 471
( The Nas:'s Head Portrait)
l^tlt^ Jr^slfmat^r ftcnl
flicmpang, N^m fork
BETTIE FRESHWATER POOL.
All Rights Reserved,
Memory of My Brother,
The Late Hon. Walter F. Pool,
This Book is
Most Lovingly Dedicated
I.— "The Eyrie" 1-^
II. — The Nag's Head Picture of Theodosia
Burr 18 "^
III. — The Shadow of the Past 26 -
IV. — Joe Pi>'etop's "Marse Jeemes" 29
V. — On the Amazon 40
VI. — Divided 47
VII. — Little Marse Hal 51
VIII.— Poems :
Angel of My Gethsemane 68
Summer Twilight 69
The Will-o'-the-Wisp 70
Our Flower and Star 71
De Flea 74
Little Elsie 75
My Dear Sunny Southland 76
Thou art Sleeping 77
The Grippe 78
In God's Hands 83
My Love is all around Thee 85
IX. — The Monstrosity (by Gaston Pool) 86
When I bought the Shirley farm I carried my
bride to the Eyrie, the old-fashioned irregular man-
sion on Pasquotank river, that years ago had been
the home of the Shirleys.
This old place has a romantic charm for me,
so remote it is from the noise and strife of the
busy world ; so restful it looks, with its background
of stately pines, and its elm-shaded lawn dotted
with buttercups, daisies and white clover.
That beautiful sheet of water, Pasquotank river,
flows not a hundred yards from our door. In sun-
shine and in storm it is a delight to watch the
w^hite-winged ships sail by on their way to the har-
bor a few miles distant, to listen to the murmur
of the rippling water, and see great flocks of birds
silhouetted against the deep blue of the sky.
This picturesque grove of stately old elms, pines
and sycamores, festooned with graceful garlands
of gray moss, and odorous with the scent of jas-
mine, wild honey-suckle and eglantine, is a place
to see visions and dream dreams.
I spend many an idle hour seated on the gnarled
roots of a huge oak tree which grows near the
edge of the water, with the woman I love by my
side, drinking in all the beauty and charm of this
restful, picturesque spot.
2 The Eyrie,
Sometimes Uncle Pete, an aged negro, once a
devoted slave of the Shirleys, beguiles the time
with quaint stories of those halcyon days "befo'
de war.'^ Those days of romance and chivalry,
with their somber setting of storm and blood-shed
and tears, stand out in bold relief on the can-
vas of Uncle Pete's memory : and when in a
reminiscent mood he likes nothing better than to
regale an appreciative listener with legend and
story from the vast store of his treasured collec-
Let me give in his own words the story of the
Shirleys; should I substitute my own language in
place of his quaint dialect, the story, I am sure,
would lose half its interest.
"You ax me huccum dis place call de Eyrie.
De place tuck its name frum er big eagle's nes'
whuPs been in dat pine thicket yonder better'n er
hundred years. Dar dem bu'ds lays der eggs an'
hatches der young year a'ter year; an' you better
not pester um 'dout you want ter git yo' eyes to'
out wid dem sharp claws. 'Bout ten years ago dem
eagles tuck er notion ter mo' dat nes' ter ernudder
tree close by. Dat wery nex' day dar come up er
terrible thunderstorm, an' de lightnin' struck dat
tree whar de eagle's nes' been mo'd from, an' bu'nt
it smack ter de groun'. Eagles got a heap mo'
sense'n folks. Dey know jis' when dat storm com-
in' up, dat's huccum dey mo' dat nes' jis' in de
nick er time.
"Marse Joe Shirley had dat house built, an' dar
he lib twell he die; den de place wuz sole an'
strangers been libin' dar eber sense. My little
ole hut standin' ober yonder yit. I hopes de Lord
And Other Southern Stories. 3
guine let me lib dar twell He calls me away frum
dis heer worl' ter jine ole Marster an' de chillim
up dar in de New Jerusalem. I wish you could
er seen dis place 'fo' de war. Ober yonder ter de
lef wuz de quarter' whar all de black folks stay;
piles an' piles er little white-washed houses jist
ez neat ez er pin. De Obeseer an' his wife lib in
er bigger house beyant de thicket; an' dar ter de
right wuz de big barn, an' de stables chock full er
horses an' mules.
"De Shirlevs wuz some er de quality. Marse
Joe wuz 'mos' rich ez er king. He don't mess
his time wid no po' white trash, I kin tell you dat.
'Pear lack he jis' ez proud ez he hin be 'fo' Marse
Tom wuz born: but a'ter dat he so sot up he can't
hardly walk, sho' 'nuff. He so happy kaze he
got er son ter bear 'is name, an' heir all dat prop-
"An' when Miss Xellie come erlong, he say he
got de two beautifules' chillun in de whole kentry,
dafs sartin. Dey bof jis' lack dey Ma, wid dem
yaller curls an' white skin.
"Lord ! how dem chillun did lub one nurr.
Wliene'er you see Marse Tom dar you see Miss
Xellie, too. She f oiler him in de woods ter look
fer beech-nuts an' chinkepins : she go out in de
snow wid 'im ter set traps fer de snow-bu'ds ; she
kin climb trees 'mos' good ez he kin, an' ride hors'-
back 'dout no saddle, too. Wonder she ain't break
'er neck long ergo, she so wentur'some.
^^When dey git big ernuf ter go ter school, one
day Marse Tom git ter fight wid er boy 'mos' big
ez two er him. Dat boy had 'im down, beatin' 'im,
when up Jumps Miss K'ellie an' grabs er big light-
4 The Eyrie,
^ood knot, an' starts fer to bu'st dat bo/s head
open wid it. Dat boy name Jack Gray. When
he see Miss Nellie comin' wid dat light-'ood knot
he jumps up an' run; den he laff an' tell er he
ain't guine beat dat little brurr er hern no mo'.
Miss Nellie tell 'im he better not, do she guine kill
'im sho' 'nuff.
"Dem chillun git mo' an' mo' wrapt up in one
nurr ez dey grow older, in 'tickler a'ter ole Mistis
ceasted. Dey jis' lack twins.
"When Marse Tom went ter Chapel Hill ter
College, Miss Nellie 'mos' cry 'er eyes out. She
so lonesome I feared she guine pine erway an'
die. Dat Jack Gray alus hangin' 'roun' her, say
he guine teck Marse Tom's place while he gone.
She say nobody can't take Marse Tom's place. Dat
Jack had 'is eye sot on Miss Nellie eber sence dat
day she guine knock 'is brains out wid dat light-
'ood knot, when dey wuz chilluns.
"Marse Joe 'gun ter see whut dat chap up ter,
presney. He tell Miss Nellie she got ter put er
stop ter 'is comin' dar, 'dout he guine to it hisse'f .
Miss Nellie jis' hilt her head up an' ain't say
whut she guine do. Ole Marster he ain't say no
mo' right erway : he jis' watchin'. When he see
dat feller ain't stop comin' he git ez mad ez thun-
der. Den one day he had it out wid Jack Gray,
an' ferbid 'im ter step 'is foot in dat house ergin.
Jack say he lub Miss Nellie an' Miss Nellie lub
him, an' he say he made up 'is mind he guine mar'y
'er some day. He tell Marse Joe he needn't hole
his head so high jis' 'cause he's rich, dat he jis'
ez good ez he is, ef he ain't got ez much money.
He talk so sa'sy dat Marse Joe jis' slam de doo'
And Other Southern Stories. 5
in 'is face an' don't say no mo'. Den he an' Miss
Nellie has it out. He tell her dat ef dat common-
no'count feller eber steps his foot in his house
ergin, he gnine shoot him down lack er dog.
"Den Miss Nellie write Jack Gray er letter an'
tell 'im whnt her Pa say, an' beg 'im not ter come
nigh her no mo'. Den she walk de floo' er her
room an' cry all night, Dinah say, an' 'clar' her
heart done broke.
"Not long a'ter dat Marse Tom come home from
college, den Miss Nellie 'peared ter be happy fer
er while. She proud er Marse Tom now sho' 'nuff,
kaze he done graderwated an' got fust on all his
studies. Ole Marster's prouder 'n eber now, kaze
he got sich er smart son. He hole 'is head high
now sho' 'nuff . Lord ! ef we didn't ha' good times
dat summer, I'll hush ! Sich er dancin' an' feast-
in', sich piles er company you neber did see ! De
sun wuz shinin' den sho' 'nuff, we wa'n't studyin'
'bout no time when de shaders guine fall, an' de
light an' de joy done gone clean erway. Dat
time wuz er comin' do, fast ernuff.
"De war cloud getherin' right den, an' hit guine
break right ober our heads 'f 0'' we know it. Presney
down hit come wid er smash, an' Marse Tom done
gone ter Eo'noke Islan' ter fight de Yankees. De
whole kentry wuz swarmin' wid Yankees an' buf-
ferlo's an' g'rillers. Yo' life wa'n't wurth nuffin'
"But I ain't guine talk erbout de war, — you
knows all erbout dat, — I guine tell you 'bout Miss
Nellie an' Jack Gray, an' de quiltin' party.
"Dat Jack he ain't come nigh Marse Joe no
ino'5 but he meet Miss Nellie at all de parties, an'
6 The Eyrie,
she 'low 'im ter set by 'er an' talk ter 'er, all he
please; but ole Marster don^t know nnthin' ^boiit
"In dem days de ladies gin big quiltin' parties,
an' a'ter de quiltin' wuz done come de snpper an'
de fiddlin' an' de dancin'. I knows yen's heered
erbout all dat. Ole Miss Commander whut libbed
down on Little Eiber wuz gittin' up one er dem big
quiltin' parties; an' Miss Nellie an' 'er young lady
frum town — name Miss Fannie Black — whar wuz
wisitin' 'er wuz 'wited. Incose I had ter take
um ter de party in de big kerridge, in style.
"Dar wuz er big crowd dar dat night, an' things
wuz lively, I tell you. But low an' behole ! 'Long
'bout ten o'clock dat Jack Gray rid up wid Mr.
Harris, whut's er magistrate, an' 'fo' anybody kin
say Jack Eobinson, dar be er weddin' right dar.
Dat rascal. Jack Gray, done 'swade Miss Nellie ter
mar'y him den an' dar, an' he done gone an' fetch
dat magistrate 'fo' anybody but Miss Nellie
'specion whut he up ter.
"A'ter de marriage wuz ober she come in de
kitchen lookin' puty ez er picture. She mick er
fine bow ter me, an' say (puttin' her han' on Jack
Gray's arm) :
" TJncle Pete, 'low me ter 'duce you ter my hus-
ban', Mr. Jack Gray. I shill not trouble you ter
tak' me home. My husband will tak' me ter
his home at de Cedars, whar' we shill be glad
ter hab you come ter see us when you will '
"I ain't say nuttin\ I jis' sot dar so skeered
I 'mos' dead, my jaw done drap ; kaze I speck Marse
Joe guine kill me good fashion when I tell him de
news. I shan't neber fergit dat night! Sich er
And Other Southern Stories. 7
time as we had when I gits home, an' brings dem
tidin's! Marse Joe jis' walks de fioo' all night
'long, he ain't sleep one wink, an' I ain't nuther.
But\e ain't kill me, he so mad wid dat Jack Gray
an' Miss Nellie he ain't studyin' 'bout me.
'TDat night Marse Joe writ ter Miss Nellie, an'
tell 'er his doo' done shet on her frnm dat time
fo'th, dat she ain't no da'ter er hisn no longer. Den
he write ter Marse Tom, an' tell him whut his
"Poor ole Marster! his heart 'mos' broke 'bont
Miss Nellie, but he won't 'low nobody ter call her
name no mo',
"Not many weeks a'ter dat de big boat whar
dey call de "Spauldin' " come np frum Eo'noke
Islan' an' fotch de Southern pris'ners. Pore Marse
Tom got wounded in de lef shoulder, an' had ter
stey home er long time, an' be nursed twell he git
well. Ole Marster so glad ter ha' his boy home
ergin' dat he che'rs right up an' am ez lively ez
er cricket. . ,
"But I see Marse Tom is pmm' fer his sister.
When he git by hisse'f he look so lonesome an' sad,
I feels er lump rise in my th'ot : kaze I pinin' fer
Miss Nellie, too. I sholy wuz lonesome, dat's de
trufe ; kaze she de light er de house.
"I imow Marse Tom go ter see Miss Nellie some-
times, but ole Marster don't know nuttin' 'bout
it. Marse Tom ain't guine gi' up dat sweet sis-
ter er hisn ter please nobody. Dat he ain't. But
Lord a mussv! we all git stirred up sho' 'nuS,
when de news come dat Jack Gray done gone an
line de buSerloes. Yes, sar ! he jis' wheel right
eroun' an' he'p de Yankees ter fight his own folks.
8 The Eyrie,
^'Marse Joe, he cut up lack tliunder when he
heer dat; but Marse Tom ain't say nuttin', tie jis'
tu'n white in de face an' shet 'is mouf tight, an'
go down an' walk all by hisse'f on de riber sho'
dar. He surtney do look lonesome now, dat's de
truf e !
"De weeks an' de munts roll erway, an' de whole
kentry tu'nd upside down, wid de Yankees, de buf-
ferloes an' de g'rillers, jis' er swarmin', all o' de
"One night dat summer I settin' on my doo'-
step all by myse'f, kaze Marse Tom rid ter Nixon-
ton dat mornin' an' ain't come back, an' I wait-
in' fer 'im. De night wuz dark ez pitch ; I couldn't
eben see de win'mills cross de riber on de Camden
"I sat dar watchin' ole Hogan's light rise up
slow outen de water. I 'spec you heern 'bout dat
light. Dat ole Hogan out fishin' on dark nights.
He wuz er powerful mean nigger, he wuz. He
busy all de week an' stays out dar on de riber in
his little rowboat an' fishes all day long erry Sun-
days. One dark night ole Hogan out dar
ha'in' er big time fishin', when er storm come up
an^ capsize dat boat, an' dat nigger fall out an'
git drownded. He dead sho' ; but he ain't git no
res', jis' de same. God A'mighty guine make 'im
stay out dar on dat riber an' fish all night in de
dark, ter punish 'im fer fishin' so much on Sun-
days. He guine punish ole Teach, too, whut dey
call ole Blackbeard, 'sides sendin' 'im ter de deble.
He ain't res' none in liis grave nuther. Many er
time me an' heap mo' folks sees er sperit ship sail-
in' up an' down, up an' down, out yonder in de
And Other Southern Stories. 9
riber. Ain't no boat on de yeth kin obertake dat
ship. Sailors, an' folks on sho' too, sees Teaches'
light mighty often, an' dey sees dat shader ship
plain ez daylight.
"Cap'n Me}Tiard done had Teaches' head chopped
off long ergo; but he has ter come back an' sail
dat boat, head er no head.
"Fust thing he done a'ter 'is head wuz cut off
wuz ter swim 'roun' de boat whar kotch 'im three
times. He jis' showin' folks whut he kin do 'dout
no head, er nuttin'.
"Wlien dat ole pirate uster git dat long hair,
an' dat long black beard er hisn plaited an' stuck
full er lit candles, an' 'gin ter chaw glass twell de
blood trickle down his chin, an' when he gits ter
bu'nin' sulphur an' brimstone, an' er-wavin' dat
s'od 0' his head, an' er-cussin' an' cuttin' up, folks
nigh' 'bout b'le'e he de ole deble hisse'f.
"I sutney does wish I had some er dat money
he got bu'ied every which erway 'roun' heer, deble
er no deble. I feard ter go look fer it do, kaze
he ajus cut off de head er one er his men an' bury
"wid ery pot er money, ter 'tect it. Ef you dig fer
dat money, time yo' spade strike de iron pot whar
hoi's it, dat pot done sunk smack ter de middle
er de yerth, an' 'fo' 3^ou knows it, er gre't, big
mill-stone 'gins ter spin 'roun' right ober yo' head,
an' yo' 'speck erry minute hit guine drap an'
squush yo' brains out. An' 'fo' you kin run fer
yo' life, dat man whar had his head cut off, done
dim' ter de top er dat tree, an' dar he sets watch-
in' you wid t«^o gre't, big red eyes, jis' lack balls er
"Nobody needn't try ter steal none er ole
10 The Eyrie,
Teaches' money, I tell you dat. He got some hid
in dat woods ober yonder, an' Buzzard's Islan' jis'
chock full er date gole.
"Down yonder on Little Flatty Creek is whar
he had his headquarters. Dar he keep pasel er
dem goods he stole. I'm hern some er dem folks
whut libed on Little Flatty Creek wuz in league
wid him in his divilment. Sometimes he'd come
wid er whole troop er his debles ter some er de
towns an' march th'oo, cuttin' up lack he clean
crazy. He march his men right in de folks' houses
an' teck jis' whut he please, 'dout axin' nobody
no odds, an' dey skeered ter 'zist 'im, kaze ef dey
do he chop der head right off. He ain't ax no odds
to rush right in an' grab er man's wife er da'ter
an' run off wid 'er, an' when he gits tar'd er her
he jis' chop off 'er head an' fling 'er o'board. But
I better stop talkin' 'bout 'im dis fashion. Fust
thing I knows he'll grab me an' cut off my head
an' fling me in dat riber.
"But dat night I tellin' you 'bout, when I set-
tin' dar watchin' ole Teaches' light, I heers Marse
Tom come gallopin' up on hossback. He see me
settin' in de light er de doo', an' drive up dar an'
say, ^Pete, git on dis hors' quick, an' go ter Nel-
lie's an' tell her dat I say ter meet me at de fork
er de road jis' in front er her house at ten erclock
ter-morrer mornin'. Tell her not ter fail ter do
dat. Do you understan' ?'
"I jumps on dat hoss an' erway I goes. I git
ter Miss Nellie's all right an' 'livers dat message,
an' starts home ergin 'bout twelve er'clock.
"I rid erlong not thinkin' 'bout bein' skeered
twell I gits in front er de ole Ashley house dar
And Other Southern Stones. ii
ter De Elums. ^Bout dat time my hoss shied so
sudent I jam pitched head ober heels; an^ I heer
supin' guine whiz ! whiz ! whiz ! lack er big wheel
turnin' ^roim'. Den my hair riz on my head sho'
'nuii; kase I knowed pintidly dat de sperit er ole
Miss Ashley. She nster be er mighty spinner,
an' when you heers dat wheel guine whiz ! whiz !
whiz ! lack dat, you knows dat's her sperit settin'
dar spinnin' fer dear life. Sometimes she come
back in de shape uf er gre't, big ball er far', 'bout
de size uv er cart-wheel, an' she roll down dat road
jist er scatterin' sparks ez she goes.
^''I 'mos' sho' I guine see dat ball er far' dat
night when I heered dat wheel tu'nin' roun', an'
ef I didn't meek dat hoss skoot I'll hush !
"Ole Mr. Ashley had dat house built wid er
chimbly in the middle an' er outside doo' in erry
room, so he kin run in an' out when dat 'oman
tuck a'ter 'im wid dat gre't, big pistol whar she
call her Sherlock; kaze he know she'd shoot 'im
in er minute. Dat po' man sholy did ha' er hard
time. Sometimes when things git too hot fer 'im
dar home he'd go off an' stay three er fo' days.
When he come back he'd open de front doo' an'
fling in his hat. Ef dat 'oman hang dat hat on
de peg whar it 'longs, he knows he kin go in an'
she ain't guine beat 'im ; but ef she flings dat hat
out-doo's he jis' puts hit back on his head an' off
he walks ergin ter stay twell she git pleased.
"Xo wonder when she comes back she brings some
er de deble's far' wid her. I b'le'e plenty folks
on dis heer yerth is mighty nigh kin ter de deble,
dat I does. I knows dem g'rillers wuz. fer er fac'.
Deble ain't done many deeds no blacker 'n some
1 2 The Eyrie,
dey done. I gnine tell ye 'bout de 'mos' outland-
ish thing whut happen endurin' de war: Marse
Tom done been ter see Miss Nellie, an' tell her ter
warn her husban' ter be on de sharp lookout; dat
de kentry 'roun' heer swarmin' wid dem g'rillers,
an' dey hid in erry woods an' thicket watchin' fer
de bufferloes an' guine shoot um on de sly. God
A'mighty ! ef dat Jack Gray had er listened ter
dat warnin' he might er been libin' ter dis day !
But he dat wentnr'some, he ain't skeered er g'ril-
lers er nobody else, dat's de trufe.
" 'Twa'n't many weeks a'ter dat 'f o' he tuck Miss
Nellie ter see his cousin, whut libed t'other side er
Newbergun Creek. Dey rid in er open buggy an'
started home 'bout four o'clock in de ebenin'.
When dey git dar ter de Trunk Bridges at New-
bergun Creek, er whole band er g'rillers sprung
out an' 'fo' Jack Gray kin raise his han' er open his
mouf, dey done en riddled 'im wid bullets. One
er dem bullets went th'oo Miss Nellie's hat, an'
ernudder one grazed 'er arm. De hoss tuck fright
an' run erway, he skeered 'mos' ter def. When
Miss Nellie see her husban' drap de reins an' fall
back stiff, she jis' flung 'er arms 'roun' his neck,
an' hilt 'im in de buggy. De blood gushed frum
all dem wounds an' soaked her close an' stained
her hands an' face, an' trickled down in er big red
puddle in de foot er de buggy. Dat hoss had
'longed ter Miss Nellie since she wuz er little gal.
He skeered 'mos' outen his senses, but he meek
er ^B' line fer de Eyrie, an' ain't stop twell he git
back ter his ole home.
^^Vhen he git dar ter de big gate he stop so
sudent dat he fling Miss Nellie an' Marse Jack out
And Other Southern Stories. 13
on de ditch bank, den he whicker an' paw de groun'.
Marse Tom, settin' readin^ on de front po'ch, an'
I workin' in de flower garden close by. We bofe
seed dat boss er-flyin' down de road at de same
time. Marse Tom flung down dat book an' rnn
lack er deer to'ds de big gate what opened in de
main road, an' I followed close at his heels. He
beat me runnin', an' when I git dar he done had
Miss ISTellie in his arms er-wipin' de blood frum
'er face wid 'is handkercher. His face 'mos' white
ez er sheet, an' all he say is : Tete, tell father,
an' go fer er doctor, quick, quick !' He carri'd
Miss Xellie in 'is arms lack er baby, ter de bed
in her ole room whut nobody ain't sleep in sense
she lef. She done faint clean erwav an' lay dar
lack she stone dead. Dinah an' Mollie fiyin' eroun'
dar gettin' water an' towels, an' Marse Tom bath-
in' her hands an' face, when ole Marster come ter
de bed an' look at her. He 'gun ter trimble frum
head ter foot an' drapt inter er cheer an' kivered
'is face wid 'is ban's. Den I flies out dat house,
ketches er boss, an' rides bare-back fer Dr. Grimes,
whar lib 'bout two mile frum de Eyrie.
"Ez good luck would have it I fines 'im home,
an' back we flies lack de win'. When we gits dar
out jumps Dr. Grimes, an' makes his way th'oo
er whole pasel er darkies an' white folks gethered
roun' Marse Jack. De docter ben's ober dat po'
man, an' puts his han' on his ris', den on his heart,
den he gits up an' say mighty solum : ^I can't
do no good beer. He's stone dead. I'll go in an'
see whut kin be done fer de lady.' An' off he
starts fer de house. I f oilers 'im inter Miss Nel-
lie's room. She done come to an' open her eyes
14 The Eyrie,
^bout dis time. De docter teck 'er han' an' ax
mighty sof ' : 'Is you hurt ?' She say, 'No, no, not
much; but tell me erbout Jack. Is he dead?'
"De doctor tu'n erway his face, an' say, 'We'll
talk erbout him in er minute, you jist drink dis
medicine fer me, quick, an' hit well meek you feel
better.' She look like she 'mos' addled, but she
mine de doctor an' drink de medicine.
"Den she close her eyes an' say, 'You might jist
ez well tell me he is dead ! dead ! I know ! I know !'
"De doctor bow his head, an' say, 'Yes, my dear,
he is dead ; but you mus' be brave fer yo' brother s
sake !' Everybody know how good Miss Nellie lub
Marse Tom. He settin' on de side er de bed right
den holdin' her han'. She fling her arms roun' his
neck an' sob an' cry lack her heart clean broke. I
follers de doctor outen de room, an' when I gits
downstairs dey had done washed an' dressed Marse
Jack an' laid 'im out in de parlor. His pore old
Mammy standin' o' 'im cryin' an' sobbin', an' ole
Marster walkin" in an' out de room givin' orders;
he done come to, now he know Miss Nellie ain't
"Dat po' chile gone ter sleep now, an' Marse
Tom settin' by her keepin' watch. 'Long 'bout
ten o'clock dat night, when err^^thing still ez er
mouse, sich er scream ez I neber shill fergit rung
th'oo dat house. Den ernudder an' ernudder un-
twell my hair riz on my head. Den I heers Miss
Nellie's woice cryin' out, 'Oh, look ! Look ! Look !
Oh, see de blood ! Dar s er bullet in his
heart an' in his brain ! he bleeds ! he dies !
see de blood!' Den she swoon erway, cry-
in' all dat night; when she come to, she
And Other Southern Stories. 15
jis' say, 'Oh, blood ! blood ! blood !^ Den she ring
^er ban's an' scream ergin, an' ain't know nutten
else. She ain't eben know when we car'y Marse
Jack erway ter bury him, she gone clean 'stracted.
Pore Miss Xellie ! Fer days an' weeks she linger
dar wid de brain feber, Marse Tom an' her Pa
watchin' by her night an' day. She ain't neber
speak er wud ter ole Marster er nobody, she clean
gone onten her head an' ain't talk 'bout nuthen but
de gTillers an' blood. But jis' 'fo' she dies, she
open her eyes an' look up in Marse Tom's face,
an' say wid er smile :
" ^Tom, take me in yo' boat on de riber ; de wa-
ter am smoove, de win' blows so fresh, an' de wa-
ter-lilies gleam so white. Take me, please, Tom,
I so tired, I wants ter res'.'
"Marse Tom ben' his head an' kiss her on de
cheek, den she shet her eyes, an' ain't neber open
um in dis worl' no mo'.
"I neber shill fergit dem sad an' lonesome days
whut follered de death er Miss Xellie. Hit break
my heart ter see pore Marse Tom. Dar ain't no
music fer him no mo' in de song er birds, an' no
joy in de sunshine, kaze de music an^ de sunshine
er his young life am gone fereber.
"He tell ole Marster he cannot stay at de ole
home no longer; he mus' drown his trouble in the
roar er de cannon, in de 'citement an' thunder ub
de war. So erway he goes ter jine de Confederate
regiment whar campin' at Woodville, den erway ter
de war once mo'.
"Den I tries ter cheer up ole Marster, an' he
'peared ter keep up his sperits mighty good, twell
we heerd dat Eichmon' had fell. He know Marse
1 6 The Eyrie,
Tom dar in de thick er de fight, an' he 'mos'
grebe ter def . When de news come dat Marse Tom
wuz killed, de pore ole man jis' reeled an' fell. I
sartin he clean dead; but presney he come to an'
look eroun' an' say ? '^All gone ! all gone ! My
children, my kentry, everything!"
"I say, wid de tears tricklin' down my face,
^Dat's so, Marster, but you got pore, ole, no-'count
Pete, whut lubs vou, an' I don't keer ef he am
bound er free, he guine stan' by 3^ou twell yo' head
er hisn am laid ter res' under de sod.' He tuck
my hand in hisn, an' say,
" ''Good, faithful Pete ! I thanks you, an' lubs
you, but my ole heart am broke.'
"I see he spoke de trufe. But he say he can't
die twell Marse Tom is brung home, an' hurried
by de side er Miss Nellie.
"So jist ez soon ez we kin we goes ter Eich-
mon,' an' er frien' er Marse Tom's whut fought
in dat las' battle wid him, an' writ ole Marster how
brave he wuz, goes wid us ter Marse Tom's grave.
'Twuz er sad task we had, but we tuck dat coffin,
whut hilt all dat wuz lef er brave Marse Tom back
to de Eyrie, an' hurried him wid de rest er de Shir-
"N'ot many months a'ter dat we laid Marse Joe
by his side. Den de place whar wuz his home,
an' whar he 'speck guine ter be de home er his
chillun an' grand' chillun, wuz sold, an' fell inter
de ban's er strangers.
"When I sits dar on my doo'step ub er ebenin',
an' on bright moonlight nights, I kin see de toom'-
stone whut marks Miss Nellie's grave. It am un-
der de weepin'-willer not fer frum de riber. She
And Other Southern Stories. 17
an' Marse Tom sleeps dar side by side. Dar de
wild roses an' de jassamine blooms, an' de birds
build dey nes' an' dey sing dey glad songs in de
"Hit's er sweet spot ter rest in when yo' body
an' yo' soul am weary; when yo' heart am broke,
an' de light er dis worl' am gone out. Yes, sar,
hit's er sweet spot ter rest in."
1 8 The Eyrie,
THE NAG'S HEAD PICTUEE OF THEO-
The sand dunes of l^orth Carolina have long
been famous as the scene of marine tragedies. The
bleaching ribs of some of the stateliest craft that
ever plowed the deep bear testimony to the ravagps
of old ocean. The English merchantman, the Por-
tugese galleon, the Dutch brigantine, the Spanish
treasure ship, the French corvette, the Norwegian
barque, representatives of every maritime nation
on the globe, are scattered over the beach, from
Hatteras to Cape Fear, their grisly skeletons pro-
truding from the sands like antedilu\ian monsters
in some geological bed.
This narrow strip of sand, winding like a yel-
low ribbon between the inland sounds and the sea,
presents a curious study to the geologist. For
years it has been gradually sinking, and at the same
time becoming narrower, until now its average
width is not more than a mile; and, the libertine
waters of the great sea not seldom rush across
the frail barrier to embrace those of the Albe-
The slender divide has not always been able to
withstand the matchless flood, which has, in times
of unusual commotion, literally cut a pathway
through the yielding sands.
And Other Southern Stories. 19
These form inlets, of which Oregon, Hatteras
and 'New are the most important. Through the
first Burnside's fleet of warships defiled on its way
to the bombardment of Roanoke Island.
The channels are constantly changing, and skill-
ful pilots are required to guide vessels safely over
The ornitholoorist mav here find much to in-
terest him, and the conchologist revel in a para-
dise of shells. But the nautilus, pale and pearly,
and the delicate blush of the sea conch, have small
influence on the rude nature of the native ^'hanker."
Isolated from the world on this barren waste of
shifting sand the 'Tjanker" of a hundred 3'ears ago
was almost a barbarian. His savage instincts not
only made him consider all flotsam and Jetsam his
lawful property, but induced him to use every
means to lure vessels ashore for purposes of plun-
der. And when a wreck occurred, the wreckers
held high carnival. The sparse population turned
out '^'^en masse/' and with demoniac yells, mur-
dered without remorse the hapless victims who es-
caped the raging surf. Nags Head, a favorite sum-
mer resort along the coast, was named from a habit
the "bankers" had of hobbling a horse, suspend-
ing a lantern from its neck, and walking it up
and down the beach on stormy nights, impressing
the mariner with the belief that a vessel was rid-
ing safely at anchor. Through this device many
a good ship has gone down and much valuable
booty secured to the land pirates.
The "'bankers" of to-day are different beings
from their ancestors of a century ago. Fellowship
with enlightened people has had a humanizing in-
20 The Eyrie,
flnence, and they are now good and useful citizens.
The North Carolina coast is provided with three
first-class lighthouses, Hatteras, Whale's Head, and
Body's Island is no longer an island. Nags
Head Inlet which formed its northern boundary,
having been completely closed up by the encroach-
ing sands. •
The dunes, for the most part barren of vegeta-
tion, have in some places a stunted growth of for-
est trees, and in others large marshes covered with
a rank growth of coarse grass, on which herds of
wild cattle and "banks ponies" graze.
In the winter of 1812 there drifted ashore at Eatty
Hawk, a few miles below Nags Head, a small
pilot boat with all saijs set and the rudder lashed.
There was no sign of violence or bloodshed ; the
boat was in perfect condition, but entirely deserted.
The small table in the cabin had been spread for
some repast, which remained undisturbed. There
were several handsome silk dresses, a vase of wax
flowers with a glass covering, a nautilus shell beau-
tifully carved, and hanging on the wall of the cabin
was the portrait of a young and beautiful woman.
This picture was an oil painting on polished ma-
hogany, twenty inches in length and enclosed in "a
frame richly gilded. The face was patrician and
refined : the expression of the dark eyes, proud and
haughty; the hair dark auburn, curling and abun-
dant. A white bodice cut low in the neck and
richly adorned with lace, revealed a glimpse of
the drooping shoulders, and the snowy bust, un-
confined by corset.
The wreckers who boarded the boat possessed
And Other Southern Stories. 21
themselves of everything of vahie on board. The
picture, wax flowers, nautilus shell and silk dresses
fell into the possession of an illiterate banker
woman, who attached no especial value to them.
This picture, which has since attracted so much
attention, hung on the wall of a rude cabin among
the Xorth Carolina hills for fifty-seven years. In
the year 1869, it fell into the possession of the
late Dr. William G. Pool, a prominent North Caro-
lina physician. Dr. Pool was a man of marked
individuality. He had the tastes of an antiquarian,
was literary, cultured, and noted for his remark-
able conversational gifts. While summering at
Nags Head, he was called upon to visit profession-
ally the old banker woman referred to above. He
was successful in his treatment of the case, and
knowing the circumstances of his patient, would
accept no payment for his services. In her grati-
tude for his kindness, the old woman insisted upon
his accepting "as a gift," the portrait hanging
on the wall of her cabin. When questioned con-
cerning its history, she related the facts above men-
tioned. This she did with apparent reluctance,
possibly suppressing many interesting details that
might have thrown more light upon the subject.
Her husband had been one of the wreckers who
boarded the pilot boat, and the picture and other
articles referred to had been his share of the
spoils. Her story was, that the wreckers supposed
the boat to have been boarded by pirates, and .that
passengers and crew had been made to "walk the
plank." The picture and its strange history be-
came a subject of much interest and conjecture to
Dr. Pool. Artists pronounced it a masterpiece,
22 • The Eyrie,
and the "unmistakable portrait of some woman of
Chancing one day to pick up an old magazine
in which appeared a picture of Aaron Burr, Dr.
Pool was forcibly struck by the strong resemblance
between it and the portrait in question. Like a
flash it occurred to him that this might be a like-
ness of Theodosia, the ill-fated daughter of Aaron
Burr. Eagerly he compared dates and facts, until
he became thoroughly convinced that he had found
a clue to that mysterious disappearance, which is
one of the most awful tragedies of history. A brief
account of this discovery was published in the New
York "Sun," and immediatelv letters innumerable
were received by him asking for more particulars.
Photographs of the portrait were sent to the
numerous members of the Burr and Edwards fam-
ilies, and almost without exception the likeness was
pronounced to be that of Theodosia Burr. Charles
Burr Todd, the author, and Mrs. Stella Drake
Knappin, descendants respectively of the Burr
and Edwards families, visited Dr. PooFs residence
on Pasquotank river for the purpose of examining
the portrait. They were both convinced that it
was a likeness of Theodosia Burr.
The wife of Col. \Aaieeler of Washington, D. C,
who is a daughter of Sully, the famous portrait
painter, and is herself an artist, compared a photo
of the ISTags Head picture with a likeness of Theo-
dosia Burr in her possession. She at once per-
ceived that both features and expression were iden-
There was probably no woman in America at
the time of Theodosia Burr's death, more univer-
And Other Southern Stories. 23
sally know and admired than she. Her high social
rank, her beauty, her genius, her accomplishments,
as well as her heroic devotion to her father in the
dark days of his disgrace and banishment, had
made her a prominent figure and had won for her
the admiration of thousands.
WTien Aaron Burr upon his return from exile
sent for his daughter to visit him in iSFew York,
she decided to make the voyage by sea. Her health
had been almost completely wrecked by grief over
her father's disgrace, and the recent death of her
only child, young Aaron Burr Alston. It was
thought that a sea voyage might prove beneficial.
She accordingly set sail from Georgetown, S. C,
in the "Patriot," a small pilot boat, December
30th, 1812. Days and weeks passed, but Aaron
Burr waited in vain for the arrival of his daughter.
Months and years rolled away and still no tidings
came. The "Patriot" and all on board had com-
pletely vanished from the face of the earth, and
the mystery of its disappearance remained un-
solved for more than half a century.
Governor Alston did not long survive the loss
of his beloved wife, and Aaron Burr, in speaking,
years afterwards of his daughter's mysterious fate,
said that this event had separated him from the
Let us now compare dates and facts : A pilot
boat drifts ashore during the winter of 1812 at
Kitty Hawk, a few miles below Xags Head. There
are silk dresses in the cabin, and other indica-
tions that some lady of wealth and refinement has
been on board. There is a portrait on the wall
of the cabin that has been pronounced by artists
24 The Eyric,
and members of her family to be a likeness of
The "Patriot" was lost during the winter of
1812. On the voyage from Georgetown, S. C,
to New York, it would pass the North Carolina
coast. The sea at this time was infested by pirates.
A band of these bold buccaneers may have boarded
the little vessel and compelled passengers and crew
to "walk the plank." Becoming alarmed at the
appearance of some Government cruiser, they may,
from motives of prudence, have abandoned their
This theory is not mere conjecture. Years ago
two criminals executed in Norfolk, Va., are re-
ported as having testified that they had belonged
to a piratical crew who boarded the "Patriot," and
compelled every soul on board to "walk the plank."
The same confession was made years subsequently
by a mendicant dying in a Michigan alms-
house. This man said he would never forget the
beautiful face of Theodosia Burr, as it sank be-
neath the waves, nor how eloquently she pleaded
for her life, promising the pirates pardon and a
liberal reward if they would spare her. But they
were relentless, and she went to her doom with
so dauntless and calm a spirit, that even the most
hardened pirates were touched.
I cannot vouch for the truth of these confes-
sions which have appeared from time to time in
print, I only introduce them as collateral evidence
in support of the banker woman's story. The "Pa-
triot" was supposed to have been wrecked off the
coast of Hatteras during a terrific storm which
occurred soon after it set sail. This^ however, was
And Other Southern Stories. 25
mere conjecture which has never been substantiated
by the slightest proof.
It is not improbable that the "Patriot" during
a night of storm was lured ashore by the decoy
light at N'ags Head, and that passengers and crew
fell into the hands of the land pirates in wait-
ing, who possessed themselves of the boat and
ever}i:hing of value it contained.
This also, of course, is mere conjecture; but the
all-important fact remains that a pilot boat went
ashore at Kitty Hawk during the winter of 1812,
and that in the cabin of this boat was a portrait
of Theodosia Burr.
26 The Eyric,
THE SHADOW OF THE PAST.
The sun had set and the shadows of night were
beginning to fall.
In the handsome drawing-room of a magnificent
brownstone mansion sat a woman of exquisite
grace and beauty. All women envied her, all men
Fortune had lavished upon her its choicest gifts :
beauty, talent, w^ealth, position ; and yet there were
times when nothing seemed to her of any value,
when her life seemed empty and desolate, her heart
Her husband surrounded her with every luxury
that immense wealth could purchase; he gratified
her every expressed desire; and yet he seemed to
her as cold and incapable of love as the snow-capped
summits of the Alps.
Long ago she had been loved, yes, loved with
a passionate devotion such as few women possess,
and she had not valued it.
It seemed to her now that she never could value
As she sat by the open window and watched the
stars come out one by one in the summer sky, she
thought of a summer long-ago, and a mist of tears
blinded her eyes.
And Other Southern Stones. 27
She saw long stretches of yellow sand, and hills
gleaming white in the moonlight. She heard the
murmur of the sea, the lash of the waves against
the shore, that sound which once was music, which
now seemed a dirge. She saw herself a young,
happy, thoughtless girl, vain of her beauty, proud
of her conquests. And always by her side she saw
the man she had loved, and who had loved her :
the man whose genius had charmed all hearts ;
whose personal beauty, magnetism, grace, had made
him seem to her a kins: amono- men. Xever would
she forget the night, when false to herself and false
to him, she had denied the love that even at that
moment was consuming her heart, and sent him
from her, embittered, hopeless, crushed.
♦ And then came the chime of wedding bells, and
she saw herself a bride. She had married a man
whose almost fabulous wealth had dazzled her,
and blinded her to all sense of right and duty.
The scales had fallen from her CA^es too late,
and the Dead-Sea fruit had turned to ashes on her
Yain and foolish dream, that there can be any
true happiness in a woman's life where love is
In the midst of luxury and power she often felt
herself more wretched than the beggar who came
to her door for alms.
Her heart, her very life was consumed by a
vain regret, a passionate remorse.
As she sat in her richly-furnished room, instead
of the luxury around her, she saw to-night that lit-
tle village by the sea, where she spent one sweet
summer long ago. Scene after scene rose before
28 The Eyrie,
her, until, with a stifled sob, she buried her face
in her hands.
Just then she heard the notes of a guitar, and
a sweet girlish voice was wafted to her from a
balcony near by:
"Could you come hack to me, Douglas, Douglas,
In the old likeness that I knew,
I would he so faithful, so loving, Douglas,
Douglas, Douglas, tender and true."
A tremor ran through her frame.
As she listened she saw herself standing by a
grave. Autumn winds were sighing; autumn
leaves strewed the ground. Deep down under
those leaves and those clods lay the form of the
man who had loved her, and whose life she had
So still ! so still ! so dark ! Shut away forever
from the noises of the busy world whose bright-
ness he had loved so well.
As these memories thronged upon her, the ten^
der strains of the music died away.
Suddenly she heard an approaching footstep.
She turned and saw her husband standing by her
side, and felt thankful that in the semi-darkness
he could not see her face.
And Other Southern Stories. 29
JOE PIXETOP'S ^^MARSE JEEMES/'
A TKUE CHARACTER SKETCH.
'^LESS yo' soul, Mr. Eoberson, yo' sholy is
kin ter Marse Jeemes. I sees de blemish er him
all over you, frum dem two wrinkles in yo' for'ad,
an' dat stiff black hair ter dem sleepy gray eyes,
what's just ez much lack Marse Jeemeses ez two
black-eyed peas. ISTobody can't 'spute you's some
er our folks. I knowed dat 'reckly I sot meh eyes
on ye, 'fo' ye done git dar ter te doo' an' specified
who you wuz. Joe Pinetop ain't got no I'arnin',
but 'tickler hard ter fool, now, don't you for-
I considered it a doubtful compliment to be
told I resembled my maternal uncle, whose por-
trait, hanging in my mother's bed-chamber, had
attracted my childish curiosity twenty years ago.
The face, which I could even yet vividly recall,
was certainlv not that of an Adonis. But there
was something peculiar in the expression of the
eyes and the shape of the head that had always
proved an attraction to me, and piqued my cu-
I lost my mother when I was yet in the nursery,
30 The Eyrie,
and my father survived her but a few years. I
often questioned the latter about my Uncle James
Gray, as I sat studying the portrait during many
an idle hour, with the eager interest of a boy of
ten. My father always assured me that he knew
very little about my mother's brother, who lived
far away from our Western home, "Away down
South in Dixie."
I resolved even then that when I grew to man-
hood I would visit my mother's old home, and ac-
cumulate all the information obtainable concern-
ing my ancestors on that side of the house. And
I was especially determined to investigate the his-
tory of the original of the attractive portrait. So,
after years of waiting, I found myself in the Old
Xorth state, as the guest of Cyrus Roberson, my
mother's first cousin. I soon succeeded in ob-
taining many interesting items of family history.
Old bibles and other records furnished me with
much-desired information: but it was not until
I made the acquaintance of Uncle Joe Pinetop,
a former slave of Uncle James Gray, that I found
the "open sesame" I was seeking.
One delightful afternoon late in October, I had
the good fortune to make the acquaintance of Uncle
Joe at his own home, a rude cabin of two rooms,
set well back from the main road in the midst of
a flourishing pine thicket. The old negro sat doz-
ing in his open doorway, when the clicking of the
gate-latch made by my entrance aroused him.
Never was guest more hospitably received, and
after a few preliminaries, I made known my er-
"So you wants me to 'late ter you all I 'mem-
And Other Southern Stories. 31
bers 'bout Marse Jeemes^ does you, Mr. Roberson?
Well, Marse Jeemes sholy was curious, dat's de
trufe ! He couldn't walk er blessed step 'dout dat
walkin'-stick er hisn : but, bless yo' soul ! hit neber
t'uched de ground, but jis' stuck out frura under
his arm, one half befo' an' t'other half behin',
jis' lack he guine punch somebody's eyes out.
"An' curiser'n dat, he couldn't see er wink 'dout
dem gole-rim spectacles er hisn, what I don't b'le'e
he eber is looked th'oo sence he wuz born. Dev
alus sot on de top er dat bal' head er hisn, lack
he tryin' ter ha' fo' eyes inste'd er two.
"Dat nigger boy, Jake, whut belongst ter 'im,
he wus alus full er his devilment. One day he
ups an' hides dem gole-rim spectacles; done stole
um offen Marse Jeemes's head, when he wuz 'sleep
in de big arm-cheer. Lord ! dem eyes w'an't good
an' open 'fo' dem spectacles wuz missed, an' Marse
Jeemes wuz jam 'stracted. He had every nigger
on de place er lokin' an' er s'archin' fer em high
an' low, in de house an' out doo's one whole day
'fo' dat poky Jake fotch um back an' slipped um
in Marse Jeemes's pocket on de sly. Den dat ras-
cal say, ''Marster, is you s'arched all yo' pockets
good ? I do b'le'e I see dem spectacles dis precious
minute in dat coattail pocket er yorn.' Eoun' flops
Marse Jeemes, and grabs in dat pocket, an' she'
'nuff, dar be de spectacles. Den he git so mad
he cuss de whole plantation blue — all but dat foxy
nigger Jake, what he give er gole dollar, kaze he
say dat boy got mo' sense an' wuth mo' 'n de whole
bilin's un us put together.
"But what tickled me wuz ter see Marse Jeemes
tryin' fer ter read, feelin' on top er 'is head fur
32 The Eyrie,
dem spectacles, den cussin' an' flin'in' down book
a'ter book an' paper a'ter paper. N'ot de fust
blessed word kin dat man make out twell dem
spectacles comes ter light an' is sot in one tickler
spot on the top er dat bal' head er hisn. I knowed
his eyes wuz good ez er baby's, an' I thought I
should bust dat day, when I seed he can't read
none an' how 'stracted he wuz 'dout dem spectacles."
Uncle Joe rocked himself back and forth, and
laughed until the tears trickled down his withered
cheeks at the recollection of this ludicrous scene.
As soon as he could control himself he resumed:
"Marse Jeemes wuz er riglor sport in his young
days. He had de mos' fine clo's an' gin de mos'
good dinners you ebber see. He had piles er
money, an' more 'n er hundred head er darkies.
I tell you, sar, he wuz some er de quality, he wuz !
My mouf right nachly waters when I gits ter study-
in' 'bout dem wine parties, when de fine silver
an' de cut-glass wuz brung out, an' de young gents
frum town would come out on hors'back er by the
kerriage load, an' eat an' drink an' play cards an'
cut up Lord ! ef dem wa'n't good ole times,
"But de older Marse Jeemes git de curiser he
gits, dat's sartin. He did' ha' no use fer women
folks nur chillun, 'peared lack he jis' 'spised um
a'ter he got ole.
"One day he wuz in er powerful good humor an'
I ups an' axes 'im whut's de reason he ain't nebber
git mar'ied. He jis' laugh an' say, 'Kase I got
too much sense, Joe Pinetop, dat's de reason.
Womens is all fools, every last one er um, an' if
dar be one thing in dis worl' dat I 'bominates its
And Other Southern Stones. 33
er fool/ says he. Den he laugh ergin, an' say:
" ^Bnt twice in my life I come mighty nigh
bein' er fool mj'self. Yes, Joe, when I wuz er
young chap I got it inter my head, dat I wuz in
lub wid er mighty pretty lady: but I can't make
up my mind if I guine ax 'er ter be my wife. One
day ez I wuz ridin' 'long de road, comin' home, I
gits ter studyin' 'bout dat young lady, and try-
in' fer ter 'side if I wants her or don't want her.
I alus knowed dat bosses got pasel er sense, an'
thinks I, ole Xero's got heap mo' sense an' I is,
60 I'll let him 'side dis matter fer me. So when
I gits ter de fork in de road ober yonder, whar
one road leads home an' t'other ter my sweetheart's
house, I gives ole Nero de reins, an' tells him ter
settle dis hur business fer me once an' fer all:
dat ef it is best fer me ter marry dis 'oman ter
trot smack up ter her doo', an' I would 'lite an'
pop the question. But ef dat 'oman guine pull
my hair, an' chunk my hat out doo's, an' cut up
lack ole Scratch, says I, Xero, ef dat's de way dat
'oman guine do, don't you go nigh her: you jest
make er B line fer home; now you heers me!
An' bless yo' soul, Joe Pinetop, dat boss fotch
me home; so dat broke up de co'tin'.'
" 'Encose dat boss guine home,' says I, Vhar
he know all dat corn an' fodder waitin' fer 'im
ter eat. He had nuff sense fer dat sho', don't
I calls 'im er tickler blockhead, dat I does.'
" ^Xow, Joe Pinetop, you jis' hole yo' tounge,'
says Marse Jeemes, 'an' I'll tell vou erbout mv
f other sweetheart, de one whut nigh 'bout kotch
me, sho' 'nuff. I had gitten' my head sot on de
beautifulest gal in de whole kentry dis time, an'
34 The Eyrie,
thinks I, now I's in lub widout no mistake! So
eway I rides one cole day in December ter ax 'er
ter be my wife. I finds her settin' all by her-
self, right before' er bright, cracklin' wood far', an'
lookin' jest ez fresh an' sweet ez er June rosebud.
I sot down close beside 'er an' 'gun ter talk mighty
sweet. Bless yo' soul, Joe, I wuz jest on the p'int
er poppin' de question, when in blurts dat con-
founded daddy 'er hern, flops hisse'f down iner
cheer an' 'gins ter talk erbout fattenin' hogs on
black-eyed peas. I wuz so disgumsted I flung
dat little white han' whar wuz restin' in mine
eway, an' out I goes, givin' dat doo' er slam-bang
a'ter me — mad as thunder. I'll go ter ole Nick,'
says I, * 'f o' I ax any 'oman to be my wife whut
ez got sich er fool fer er father ez ter disinterupt
er coteship, talkin' 'bout fattenin' hogs on black-
" ''An' now, Joe Pinetop,' says he, 'you kin bet
yo' bottom dollar I ain't neber guine make my-
self er fool 'bout nair nother 'oman under de sun.
I done tuck my oath,' says he. An', bless de
Lord ! Marse Jeemes ain't nebber broke dat oath,
nuther. None de gals ain't kotch him. An' I
ain't right sho' which one wuz de luckies' — Marse
Jeemes er de gals.
"I don't speck you knows, Mr. Roberson, dat
Marse Jeemes wuz er sho' 'nuff doctor 'fo' de war.
Yes, . sar, he git his lisence an' wuz ridin' all o'
de kenty to see all de sick folks, in 'tickler de big
bugs. He wuz gittin' 'long mighty good, an' mak-
in' piles er money kourin' er whole pasel er sick
folks, an' his friends all spresified dat he guine
climb ter de top er de ladder an' make er big name.
And Other Southern Stories. 35
An^ 'fo' de Lord ! I b'le'e he'd er done dat thing
ef it hadn't been fer dat cussed hoss' er hisn,
ole Nero. I'll tell yo' how 't wuz: One night
in October, when de moon wnz ez bright
ez day, he vniz sont fer, ter wisit er mighty sick
man, what libbed down on De Pint, 'bout ten
mile eway. Marse Jeemes tnck er notion ter go
on hossback, so I saddled ole Nero, an' eway dey
goes, ez lively ez er cricket. Dat man wnz pow-
erful sick, an' Marse Jeemes can't start home twell
a'ter midnight. Den de moon done gone down,
an' der ain't no stars, an' Marse Jeemes wuz 'tickler
skerry a'ter dark. He can't see which way he
gwine, so he jis' fling de reins ter ole ISTero, an'
tell 'im ter pick 'is way de best he kin, kaze he
feels lack he done got ter de bad place or somewhar
"Presney, ole Nero stop kerplump, an' dat
'peared ter agerwate some dogs whar wuz hidin'
somewhar 'roun', an' dey made er outdacious hub-
bub, barkin' an' er clankin' der chains. Marse
Jeemes wuz 'tickler skeered er dogs, an' his hair
riz on his head. He 'spected eVry blessed min-
ute he guine git tore all ter flinders. He whipped
ole Nero an' put spurs ter 'im, but dat outlandish
hoss wouldn't budge er peg, he done made up his
mind he ain't guine one step fudder.
''Long to'ds day Marse Jeemes 'gun ter git
mighty sleepy, an' he skeered he might drap ter
sleep an' tumble offen dat hoss an' break 'is neck.
So down he gits an' stre'ches hisse'f on er pile
er dry lebes in de bottom ub er big ditch, an'
purty soon he draps ter sleep. An' dar he sleep
smack twell de sun shine in his face an' woke 'im
^6 The Eyrie,
up. Den up he jumps an^ rubs his eyes an' looks
eroun'. Bless de Lord ! Ef he wa'n't right befo'
his own gate, an^ dem dogs what jam skeered de
life outen ^im wuz his own dogs, ole Nip an' ole
"Marse Jeemes look at dat house an' dem dogs,
an' den he wheel eroun' an' look at dat ditch an'
dat bed er lebes. Den he swar dat everybody in
de whole kingdom might die an' go ter de debble,
he wa'n't nebher guine practice medicine no mo'.
So dat settled de doctor business.
"You see dat tree yander, Mr. Roberson? Dat
wuz Marse Jeemes's parlor, whar he hide when
he want ter read an' keep cool in the summertime.
He'd climb up dar an' set half er day sometimes,
hid 'mongst all dem lebes. When he seed any
company comin' whut he wants ter see, down he'd
come, lack er eel; but ef he don't want ter see
um, he sont Jake ter de gate ter tell de folks dat
he gone clean eway, an' no tellin' when he git back.
"Marse Jeemes had a heep er book-rarnin', but
he didn't ha' much sense. He say de sun am
cole ez er iceberg, say he know dat kaze de nigher
you gits ter it de colder you gits : dat on de tops
er de high mountains de snow don't nebber melt.
"Dat sot me to studyin'. Thinks I dat sounds
mighty reasonable, but when I thinks erbout how
it feels to wuck out in de corn-fiel's in de July
sun, an' feel it brilin' down on my head an' jamby
cookin' my brains, thinks I, ef dat sun am cole, I
don't want ter feel nuffin' what's hot.
"Marse Jeemes wouldn't talk ter nobody 'dout
dey sot mighty still, an' paid 'tickler 'tention ter
him. Ef dey 'gun ter rock er fidget erbout, he
And Other Southern Stories. 37
would stop right short an' call urn fools, say dey
git his brains all stirred up. Hit didn't take
much ter git Marse Jeemes's brains stirred up !
"I tole you he ain't got no 'pinion er women
folks. One day he tryin' ter set me ergin um;
he 'gun ter quote scriptur' an' sich lack. He tell
me dat St. Paul say in de Bible dat 'oman am
de weaker wessel, an' den he say dat's so, dat dey
ain't got no sense an' no strength an' ain't no
^count, no how.
^'Dat kinder riled me, an' I ups an' says, I
ain't guine ter 'spute St. Paul no way nur fashion,
but dis I will say, dat ef 'oman be de weaker wes-
sel, I tell 3'ou, sar, she carries er full sail.
*'l wuz studyin' right den 'bout my wife, Xancy.
I knowed mighty good when dat 'oman git her
head sot on doin' suppen I sprecify she slian't
do, I might git ez mad ez thunder an' turn de
house upside down, but dat ain't 'sturb her none;
she guine have her way jist de same.
"Dat weak, little wessel wid er full sail ain't
guine let all my stormin' an' blowin' capsize her,
wuth er cent; she guine sail right whar she boun',
'dout axin' no odds er Joe Pinetop, dat's sartin."
This reflection seemed to be highly gratifying
to Uncle Joe; he chuckled over it in great delight.
He resumed : "I alus shall believe Marse Jeemes
wuz erbout half cracked. One day he sont for
Nancy, an' tell her he 'mos' dead, dat he de b'le'e
he dyin' sho 'nuff. Off I goes post-haste fer Dr.
Jones. Wliile I gone Marse Jeemes tell Nancv
he so nigh dead he can't talk no mo', dat he speech-
less. When Dr. Jones come, Nancy tells him
whut Marse Jeemes say, an' den de doctor goes
38 The Eyrie,
to de bed an' axes 'im some questions. Marse
Jeemes jist shake his head, his tongue done stiff.
Dr. Jones 'zamines ^im good, an' den he turn ter
Nancy an' say : ^Dis is er mighty sick man ; sum-
pen must be done at once. Nancy, go make me
a big mustard plaster, an' fetch it here quick.^
"When Nancy fotch dat plaster de doctor tied
it tight eroun' Marse Jeemes's body wid strips
er cloth. Den he sont Nancy outen de room, tuck
er book, an' sot do^Ti by er window ter read, an*
ain't pay no 'tention ter Marse Jeemes. When
dat mustard 'gun ter burn purty bad Marse Jeemes,
he 'gun ter fidget an' fling his arms erbout, but
Dr. Jones 'ten' lack he ain't take no notice er dat.
Presney dat mustard git too much fer Marse
Jeemes. He can't stand it no longer, so he jumps
right up in bed an' hollers out at de top er his
lungs: ^Doctor, for de Lord's sake, take dis con-
f-eunded thing offen me, I's burnin' up.'
"Den Dr. Jones flung back his head an' laugh
fit ter kill hisse'f, an' Marse Jeemes cut up lack
he gone clean 'stracted.
"Presney Dr. Jones say, 'Well, Nancy, come an
take ofl de mustard plaster, it have done its work,
it have gi'n speech ter de dumb an' brung de dead
ter life !' Den he 'mos' split his sides er laffin.'
I seed de doctor know Marse Jeemes wa'n't sick
sho' 'nuff, he jist play in' 'possum.
"But ez long ez Marse Jeemes lib, ef you want
to see him riled an' heer him cuss, you just 'gin
ter talk erbout dat mustard plaster.
"Pore ole Marse Jeemes ! 'Fo' de war he wuz
one er de big bugs, an' had piles an' piles er
money; but a' ter he los' his money an' darkies, he
And Other Southern Stories. 39
come down might}' po'. His head wuz stuffed full
er book-r'arnin', an' dar wa'n't no room in dar
fer no commonsense. He say he don't want none
er dat stuff, dat er raccoon got jest ez much com-
mensense ez anvbod}'. (He got morn Marse
Jeemes, dat's de trufe !)
"Pole ole ^larster ! I wonders whar he be an'
whut he doin' sense he ceasted. He say he 'spect
ter spen' his time studyin' de stars, jis' sportin'
'roun frum one ter t'other. He 'clar's he's guine
turn ter dust, ter be sartin, but dat dust guine
turn ter flowers an' weeds, an' de potter-carriers
guine bottle some uv it up an' sell it ter sick folks.
He sprecify dat nuffin' ain't nebber guine die she'
'nuff, hit jest guine turn ter suppen else.
"I ain't say I b'le'e dat, but maybe Marse Jeemes
is turned ter a goose."
40 The Eyrie,
ON THE AMAZON.
MoojQ'LiGHT on the great Montana. Along the
banks of the Amazon gleam the white tents of the
cinchona merchant and his cascarilleros.
The toil of the day is over; most of the waxen
tapers within the tents are extmguished ; the Bra-
zilian bark hunters have retired to rest; and the
stillness which broods over the vast forest is broken
only by the screams of the howling monkeys, and
now and again the monrnful cry of the nighthawk,
known as the alma perdita, or lost sonl.
The ambiaba trees, with their white trunks and
silvery leaves gleaming against the dark back-
ground of the forest, look weird and beautiful in
Standing beneath a luxuriant mimosa tree, whose
drooping branches trail into the water, is a young
and beautiful girl. In her hands are large clus-
ters of the exquisite violet flowers of the juvia
tree. She is watching a white umbrella bird and
a scarlet flamingo, and so intent is she, and so
still is the night, that she gives a quick start when
close beside her a few notes are struck on a guitar,
followed in a moment by a rich baritone voice
which she recognizes.
"Maiden, come, my doat is waiting,"
And Other Southern Stories. 41
The music rings out clear as a bell over the wa-
ter, and the next instant a canoe comes in sight.
Its sole occupant is a man clad in a scarlet poncho
of vicuna wool. He has removed his sombrero and
is reclining in the stern of the boat. As he touches
the strings of the guitar, his eye is taking in, with
all the keen delight of an artist, the calm, weird
beauty of the tropic scene. iSTo sooner does he
perceive the girl than he drops his guitar, the canoe
shoots forward, and the next instant he springs
ashore and takes her hand.
"You here?" he says. "Xow, this is charming.
Come, let's go a little way up the river; there is
a gentle breeze out there, and the air is as soft as
balm. Was there ever such a beautiful night?
See here," he continued, as he lifts her into the
canoe. "See here, I have shot some macaws and
toucans fojf your breakfast. And best of all, here
is a big, fat jacana, or water-hen; you may pre-
serve its crest of twelve black feathers to swell 3'our
Kst of curios, if you like. And look at the head
of this big king vulture, what a beautiful shade
of orange it is ; but you can see that better by
daylight. Its plumage is a delicate cream color.
You see I have not been entirely idle this after-
noon, nor have I forgotten that a very cruel and
blood-thirsty maiden would expect some trophy
upon my return, and would be disappointed if I
presented myself empty-handed."
The girl's sweet, silvery laugh rings out over
"And there you are quite right," she sa}'^. '^When
I came to the Montana with papa, I exacted a
promise from Mm, that he and all the cascarilleros
42 The Eyrie,
should lay all their trophies in the shape of ani-
mals and birds at my feet, so that I might select
whatever I wish to preserve. This king-fisher
(how beautiful he is!) my tiger crane, flamingo,
and other rare birds, as well as my ocelot, arma-
dillo, and puma, I shall have mounted by a taxi-
dermist at Para. When we return to Eio, don't
you think I had better open a museum?"
"A capital idea. I will give you half my studio
for the exhibition.'^
"You are very generous. I will consider your
olfer. By the way, Mr. Foster, have you been
painting any more pictures? Not any so beauti-
ful as the moonlight scene in the Passeo Publico,
I am quite sure. I like that much better than any
of 3'our forest pictures."
"The picture that I value most, the one that
is far the most beautiful, is that of yourself. And
this picture is indelibly engraved on — my heart."
Lilly Brandon gives him a quick glance, then
says with a half -pensive smile :
'^Ve have been very happy here, have we not?
I wonder shall we ever see the grand old forest
again. I am saddened at the thought of leaving
"This is a land of enchantment, romance and
dreams. See the water-lilies gleaming in the
moonlight. They were once maidens like you, but
have been changed by the enchanter's wand into
these white flowers. I am under the spell of all
this beauty and witchery to-night, and there is no
telling what absurd things I may say or do. If
I turn you over into the river it will not be my
fault; the enchanters must bear all the blame."
And Other Southern Stories. 43
His dark eyes have a magnetic power to-night,
and the girl at his side feels a strange thrill under
their intent gaze.
"Suppose we never go back," he says, presently.
"Suppose we go on, and on, and on."
"It is time for us to return, even now," she
says, a little anxiously.
"Don't be afraid, little white flower. I shall not
turn the boat over unless " he moves closer to
her and takes her hand — "unless you tell me that
you would rather live with your sister-flowers out
there than to be my Lilly, mine, I say, henceforth
The boat is drifting on. He still holds her
''You love me, then ?" she asks, in a tone so low
he bends his head to catch it.
'TTes, I love you with my whole soul, with every
fibre of my being. I love yoUj,
With a love that never shall die,
'Till the sun grows cold.
And the stars are old.
And the leaves of the Judgement Boole unfold.'
The man's magnetism and ardor hold the girl
entranced, spellbound. Suddenly his mood changes.
A soft light comes into his face. He raises her
hand to his lips and says in a voice grown very
gentle and entreating:
"Pardon, sweetheart. I see I have frightened
you with my mad wooing. Pardon, my beautiful
44 The Eyrie,
white flower, and tell me — yes, tell me truly if you
"Yes, I love you," replies the girl, very simply.
"I love you with all my heart."
He stoops and presses a long, lingering kiss on
her lips; then lifting her to her feet, they stand
upright in the boat. For a moment he gazes at
the beautiful scene around them, then up at the
brilliant constellations overhead.
"Here, th^n, in this enchanted forest, on the
bosom of the Amazon, under the Southern Cross,
we plight our troth, vowing to love each other until
death us do part."
The boat is drifting on. They sit down again.
Suddenly on the silence of the night there sounds
a roar that shakes the forest, and is blood-curdling
in its ferocity. The girl gives a smothered cry,
and turns white to the lips. With one quick ap-
prehensive, penetrating glance in all directions
around him, Foster soon perceives at a distance
of a few hundred feet, on the farther bank of the
river, the cat-like form of some animal which ap-
pears to be following the canoe.
They are now some distance from the main body
of the river, having unconsciously entered a tribu-
tary stream, which at this point is not more than
fifty feet wide. Thoroughly aroused to the dan-
ger of the situation, Foster applies his oars with
vigor, and tries to out-distance their pursuer. The
animal now comes boldly into view, and the moon-
light falling on its flanks reveals the black resetted
body of a huge jaguar. It is steadily following
them, sometimes stealthily, sometimes boldly,
watching a favorable opportunity for attack.
And Other Southern Stories. 45
The stream is becoming narrower, and the dan-
ger momentarily more imminent. The only hope
of escape seems to be to make a*sndden turn, row
rapidly past the animal before it becomes aware
of their intention, and reach the main body of the
river ere it can overtake them. Foster fiilly real-
izes the danger of such a bold stroke, but no
other means of escape presents itself to him. He
dares not fire at the jaguar, lest in the uncertain
light he should miss his aim and bring about a
more certain and ferocious attack.
Carefully placing his pistols on the seat beside
him, by a rapid movement he turns the canoe. The
next moment the little skiff shoots forward like
an arrow under the powerful strokes of his mus-
cular arms. The jaguar seeing his prey about to
escape, seems to form a sudden resolution. In
three bounds he attains a point directly opposite
the canoe, and crouching a moment, makes a bold
plunge. As his body shoots through the air, the
black rosettes on his yellow skin gleam like huge,
The girl in the canoe gives a piercing scream,
and falls forward in the bottom of the boat en-
Quickly seizing one of his revolvers Foster fires,
and knows from the sudden growl that the ball has
not missed its mark.
Though evidently wounded the infuriated beast
will not relinquish the desperate onset. It is gain-
ing upon them. It is only a few feet from the
boat. Foster empties his other revolver. The
shot takes effect in the animal's neck.
The canoe now almost bounds from the water
4-6 The Eyrie,
under Foster's masterly strokes, and the jaguar, his
strength gradually failing, is seen to drop behind.
In a little while its body sinks beneath the waves,
and a dark red stain mars the beauty of the lim-
pid blue water of the Amazon.
And Other Southern Stories. 47
Long, ■undulating stretches of yellow sand. Bleak
and barren hills gleaming white in the moonlight.
No sound to break the stillness save the murmur
of the ocean, and the faint and distant sound of
harp and violin. The moon that floats overhead
in a cloudless sky is at its full, and from the win-
dows of the white cottages along the beach flash
innumerable lights. Far away to the south gleams
Bod/s Island light, like a brilliant star of great
magnitude. Strolling slowly along the beach are
a man and a woman. They are walking in the di-
rection of Jockey's Eidge, and have left the other
couples far behind. On the face of the man is
an expression of deep sadness. The woman re-
gards him for a moment, then lays her hand
gently on his arm.
"Something is troubling you. What is it?"
He turns and looks intently into the dark eyes
raised questioningly to his. For a moment he
does not reply, then he says in a voice whose calm-
ness belies the deep emotion which is blanching his
"I cannot tell you. My lips must be dumb.
But I feel that between you and me there are times
when audible speech is unnecessary. I must leave
48 The Eyrie,
you to-morrow. For the few hours that remain
let us strive to banish painful thoughts/'
"I shall miss you so. These summer days have
been the happiest of my life. What shall I do
when you are gone ? I shall be so lonely, so dread-
"Yes, I know; and that is the hardest part
of going. If I could only bear all the pain that
this parting must bring ! But I have known for
many days that such will not be the case."
"Then, why will you go ?'^
She raises her beautiful dark eyes to his with
a look so imploring that he turns away. But in
a moment he stands before her with a firm, set
face. There is a note of reproach and entreaty
in his voice, as he answers :
"Do not tempt me. You know why I must go.
I have already stayed too long, far too long."
"This friendship of ours has been so beautiful,
so sweet. What harm can it do to her or you or
me? All my life I have wanted a friend like
you, one who at once understands and sympathizes
with all my feelings. Do you know that I have
often thought this a most singular thing. I won-
der why you alone of all people in the world should
He cannot repress a sad smile at the singular
guilelessness of this woman, whose heart he reads
like an open book. His voice is very gentle, as he
"Some day the scales will fall from your eyes,
and then you will see things as they really are.
On that day you will understand why to-night
I tell you I must leave you.^"
And Other Southern Stories. 49
"But our friendship has been so beautiful/' she
repeats, in a tone of deep sadness and reproach.
"Far too beautiful. But how hard we have tried,
ni)' sweet and noble friend, to be only friends. And
if we have failed we have done so in all innocence
and good intent. I call God to witness this night,
that the feeling I have for you is the purest, the
highest, the holiest that I have ever felt for mortal
woman. It has changed and glorified my life.
Nevertheless, I am not deceived. While I am
strong, let me leave j'ou. It is far better that I
should go now. The longer the delay the greater
will be the pain.''
"It breaks my heart to think of what your life
will be." Her head droops and her e3^es are
blinded with tears.
"Yes, my life is a wreck not pleasant to con-
template. But if we sow to the wind we must
reap the whirlwind. For better, for worse, saith
the marriage vow. If the Dead-Sea fruit has
turned to ashes on my lips, I must make the best
of the aslies. My honor binds me to keep the
faith I plighted, and God helping me, I will."
A sudden change comes over the face of the
woman. She la3's her hand gently on his arm.
Forgive me !" she says, in a low, earnest voice.
Forgive me ! You are so noble, so brave, so
strong. I shall think of you always as the noblest
man I ever knew. I did not know — indeed, I did
not know — until to-night. I thought we were only
friends. I have been so happy that I have not
dreamed of danger. And I have longed, so ear-
nestly, to throw a little sunshine into j'our life."
"Yes, I know; I understand and appreciate. No
50 ^he Eyrie,
shadow of blame can attach to you. I know that
your soul is as spotless as snow/^
He stoops and raises her small white hand, rev-
erently, to his lips. Then he says in a voice grown
husky from emotion:
"God alone will ever know what it costs me
to say and to leave unsaid what I have to-night."
Again she raises her beautiful eyes to his, and
the light in them seems to him a glimpse of
"Then know that the scales have fallen from my
eyes, and — I understand. And so, good-bye."
A long, lingering hand-clasp, a long, lingering
look into each other's eyes, and,
''Two are wallcing apart forever,
And wave their hands for a mute farewell."
And Other Southern Stones. 51
LITTLE MARSE HAL.
'^ES, sar, dat's de place whar my ole marster
useter lib ; but, law ! ef you could er seen dat place
^fo' de war, when de ole house wus dar, it would
er done yer eyes good ter look at it. 'Kase dar
wa'n't no place 'roun' heer dat could hole er light
ter dis one. "Lord amassy, dat house de finis'
one ter be sho'. It had er dozen rooms in it, and
pi'zass mighty nigh all eroun' it. When I shets
me eyes now, sometimes, Spears lack I kin see it,
jes' lack hit useter look when ole marster was a
libin'. In de summertime, when de trees wus full
er lebes, an' de grass an' clober had sprung up in
de yard, nobody needn't want nothin' no better
dan to set down under one er dem trees, an' lis-
ten ter de bu'ds er singin' an' de locusts er hoU'in'
errywhar'. Oh, Lord, ain't I sot dar many a
time ub er Sunday ebenin' an' git so lazy an' feel
so good dat 'fo' I knowed it, I wus gone smack
"I thanks de Lord dat house neber got bu'nt
up while ole marster wuz er libin'. 'Kase de ole
man's daddy built dat house, an' he thought more
un it 'an er little. ^Twould er broke 'is heart ter
had dem purty trees 'stroyed lack dey wus be dat
52 The Eyrie,
'Mistis, Marse John an' Marse Seth, hate ter
lose dat house mighty bad, an' Marse Seth he tuck
de 'shorence an' had er 'nother one put up; dat
one ye see dar now/'
"Were Marse John an' Marse Seth your old
Marster's children?" I asked of the old negro, in
whose story I was becoming interested.
"Marse John he wus, an' Marse Seth he wa'n't.
I'll tell ye how it wuz; ole Marster come be me
th'oo 'is mammy. She lef me an' er pasel er
more niggers ter 'im when she die. I wuz er lit-
tle bit er young un' when I fell ter ole marster, not
much higher 'n er bar'l. I jes' kin 'member it.
"Ole Marster he wuz gettin' 'long right smart
in years 'fo' he git married. He had jes' had de
pie house 'paired an' fixed up mighty fine when
he brung young Mistis home. I 'members jes'
ez good ez ef it wuz yistiddy — de day I fust seed
mistis. She had jes' gittin' out de kerridge, whar
stopped at de big gate, an' wuz walkin' wid ole
marster to'rds de house when I fust seed 'er. 'Bless
de Lord!' I say. '^Ef dat ain't de purtiest 'oman
I eber sot me eyes on.'
"I wuz hid 'hind er tree er peepin' at um, when
presney I look, an' see er little boy comin' 'long
'hind um on krotches. Dat wuz Marse Seth, what
wuz de son ub mistis's fust husban' 'fo' he had her.
Dat boy had suppen 'nother de matter wid 'is
knee, an' he couldn't walk er step widout dem
"Well, a'ter we git 'quainted wid mistis we lub
'er mighty good. She wuz alus doin' suppen fur
some un us, 'mos' speshly when we gits sick. She
useter go right dar in de kitchen hers'f an' doc-
And Other Southern Stories. 53
tor us. An' ole Marster, he did, too. Ef dey
ain't poured er pasel er stuff down me ! 'Kase
wlien I wuz er youngun' I useter be mighty poo'ly
^' Teared lack ole marster an' mistis alus
thought de worl' er me. Dey tuck me ter wait
in de house, an' 'ten' ter Marse Seth. Dat boy
thought mo' er me ^an air nother darkey 'bout
"Marse John, ole marster's fust son, he wuz er
gre't, big, peart chile, an' ole marster wuz mighty
proud er him. A'ter er while Miss Kate she come
erlong. She wuz er purty little thing, wid right
black eyes an' ha'r. But none er mistis's chillun
wa'n't purty's little Marse Hal. Mistis had er pasel
er chillun, but dev all die but free. An' Miss
Kate she wuz 'bout fifteen years older'n little
Marse Hal. He wuz born 'bout two years 'fo' de
war broke out. Lord ! how errybody lubbed dat
chile ! He wuz jes' lack er little angul, an' de
sensiblest chile I eber see. He wuz nothin' but
er baby; but de darkies all call 'im Marse Hal.
'Pears lack I kin see 'im yit, trottin' up an' down
de front po'ch, straddle er stick boss, wid 'is yal-
ler curls er-flyin' out behind 'im. Dar wuz one
thing cur'ous 'bout dat chile, he alus had er tear
drop in de corner ub 'is eye, an' fast ez ye'd wipe
it out it 'u'd come again. Hit make 'is eyes look
kind er solum, eben when he wuz laffin'.
"Dat chile did ha' de curisest notions ter be
she'. One night he an' me wuz settin' on de front
steps, an' I look at Marse Hal an' see 'im look-
in' mighty hard right up de sky. Presney I says,
^Vhat ye thinkin' 'bout, honey ?'
54 The Eyrie,
'^ 'I waz thinkin'/ says he, Vhat de stars kin be.
What is dey, Unc' Miles ?'
"He turn an^ look right straight at me wid 'is
gre't, big solum eyes.
" Tjord, Marse Hal/ says I, 'I dunno what dey
is, 'ceptin' dey^s stars/ says I.
" 'I'll tell ye what I thinks dey is/ says he.
'I thinks dey's de good Lord's candles/ says he.
"'Lord, Marse Hal! What do he do wid um
in de da3rtime?' says I.
" 'Why, Unc' Miles, in corse he blows um out/
"He sholy wuz er sensible chile.
"Marse Seth, Marse John an' Miss Kate, dey
wuz all gro\\Ti. Marse Seth, he wuz free. An' ole
marster, he wuz gittin' 'long mighty ole when
Marse Hal wuz born; an' he wuz same ez 'is eye-
"We useter ha' mighty good times twell de war
broke out, but dat upsot errything. I useter hear
um talkin' 'bout freedom an' sich ; but. Lord ! I
didn't keer nothin' 'bout bein' free. I wuz jist
ez happy ez er coon dar wid our folks, playin'
wid de chillun, bilin' lasses, poppin' popcorn fur
um, an' sich, Avhen I didn't ha' no wuck ter do.
'Pears lack dey all thought jam by ez much er
me ez ef I wuz white ez dey wuz.
"But when de war broke out, dat upsot erry-
thing. Marse John he wollunteered an' went wid
er pasel mo' our mens do^vn ter Ro'noke Islan' ter
'pare fer de Yankees. Dat wuz er skeerry time
shore's you er born ! We could hear dem cannon
guns down ter Eo'noke, gwine boom ! boom ! crack !
crack ! Dey soun' jes' lack thunder.
And Other Southern Stories. ^^
**1 hear folks say some er dem cannon guns
down dar so big er man could git inside nn nm.
But thanks de Lord ! I never know how dang'ous
dey wuz twell a'ter de battle wuz done, an' Eo'noke
"I nseter feel mighty sorry fur Marse Seth,
'long den. He want ter go ter de war so bad, an'
he couldn't do it 'kaze he wuz lame an' had ter
walk on krotches. I 'members one day he an'
Miss Kate wuz settin' under de big elum dar in
de lane, an' I wuz comin' 'long home from ole
Unc' Lem's th'oo de fiel', an' I heered um talk-
in'. Marse Seth he say :
" 'I feels lack er coward when I thinks ub all
de udder boys gone erway ter fight fer dey kentry/
says he, 'an' I stayin' home. I can't neber be no
sarvis ter my kentry,' says he, ' 'kaze I ain't noth-
in' but er broken staff,' says he.
*' ^ut ye kin be ub sarvis ter we all,' says Miss
Kate. 'What would we do widout vou? Father's
gettin' ole an' feeble, an' dar ain't nobody but you
ter 'tend de farm an' look a'ter things,' says she.
"He look at her mighty gr'teful lack, an' he say :
" 'Hit's er gre't pleasure ter me ter do all I
kin fer you an' all dat I lubs,' says he, 'but I kin
do mighty little,' says he.
" 'Ye don't do yerse'f jistice,' says Miss Kate.
'Kaze ye ain't strong an' well lack some mens
ain't no reason ye can't be ub sarvis. Folks kin
wuck wid dey head's well ez wid dey hands,' says
" 'Do I wuck verry hard wid my head, my dear ?'
says he, sorter smilin'.
"TTes, ye do,' says she. 'What would become
S6 The Eyrie,
er de farm, an' who would 'tend ter de darkies
ef it wa'n't fer you, an' your thinkin' an' plan-
nin'? Ter say nothin' ub de comfort you is ter
Ma an' me/ says she.
'' ^Do you value my sarwises so highly, an' am
I r'ally er comfort ter you, Kate?'
" ^Kin you doubt it ?' says she, sorter blushin',
but lookin' up right in 'is face.
"He neber said nothin', but jist reached out an'
tuck 'er han' an' kissed it. An' den dey got up
an' started fer de house. Dey didn't talk much
gwine 'long, an' hit 'peared ter me dey look mighty
"Marse Seth an' Miss Kate, dey wa'n't no kin,
but eber sence dey wuz little chillun dey alus
thought de worl' er one 'nother.
"Well, things went 'long sorter smoove twell
we heard de guns er-firin' down ter Eo'noke, an'
knowed de Yankees had got dar. Lord ! ef we
wa'n't skeered den ! 'Kaze we wuz 'spectin' all de
time Marse John gwine git killed.
"Dey wuz down dar seben mont's 'parin' fer
de Yankees 'fo' dey come. But when dey do come
hit didn't take um long ter whip our mens.
"In corse, hit didn't, dey might known dat;
'kaze all de odds wuz 'g'inst us.
"I heered Marse John say de fust thing dem
Yankees done when dey git dar 'long side de Is-
lan' wuz ter po' er whole pasel er red hot shot ober
dar, untwel dey sot de bar'ks erfar an' bu'nt um
up. Den dey pou'd out solid shot untwel dey
lebled de bre's-wucks, yes, sar, bles' yo' soul, leb-
eled um ter de groun' !
^Gen'l Bu'nside had er powerful fleet er wes-
And Other Southern Stories. 57
sels out dar ; yes, sar, an' er tremenjous army, too ;
an' how's Gunnel Shaw, wid his han'ful er mens
gwine stan' g'inst all dem odds? He couldn't do
it, dat's all. But Marse John say dey sho'ly did
fight brave, our mens did. One man jes' stood
up on top de bre's-wuck, 'fo' dey to' it down, an'
spreeted open 'is coat an' 'sposed 'is bre's, an' cuss
de Yankees, an' holler at um ter shoot away an'
kill 'im ef day kin. De shot wuz er flyin' roun'
'im right an' left, but 'fo' de Lord, dat man neber
so much ez got 'is skin scratched ! Hit sho'ly was
"Lord amassv ! I wouldn't been dar fer de
worl'. Wid dem bung-shells er-bustin' an' dem
cannons er-farin' all eroun', how anybody done
ter keep frum gittin' killed 'stonished me. One
er dem bung-shells bu'sted right nigh Marse John,
an' th'owed 'im down, an' kivered 'im up in du't.
Hit blowed de man whar wuz standin' by Marse
John way up in de air, an' to' 'im all ter flinders.
Hit sholy wuz a wonder Marse John neber got
killed, 'kaze dey had ter dig him an' some udder
mens, whar got kivered up when dat bung-shell
bu'sted, smack outen de groun'. Dey wuz nigh
'bout smothered ter def.
""When de Yankees landed dey had ter come
th'oo er ma'sh, 'fo' dey could git ter whar Gunnel
Shaw's army wuz. An' our mens, dey had two
gre't, big cannon guns sot right at de een' er dat
road, jist er-playin' on um ez dey come erlong.
One man jist tuck an' stood right on top er one
er dem guns, an' dar he stood, wid 'is s'o'd in 'is
han', cuttin' some er dem Yankees all ter pieces,
twell dey killed 'im. Yes, sar, dey jes' made sas-
58 The Eyrie,
sage meat outen ^im. He wiiz de biggis fool I
eber see ter th'oo hisse'f erway in dat fashion.
^^fVell, sar, de Yankees, dey went o' dem can-
nons ; dey didn't keer f er nm !
"Our mens dey fon't mighty brave, bnt dey
couldn't stan' 'g'inst all dem Yankees — dey might
known dat — so dey had ter h'ist de white flag an'
s'render. Den de Yankees tnck um pris'nns, an'
put nm on a gre't, big boat whar dey call de ^Spanl-
din'/ an' neber gin nm nothin' ter eat 'ceptin'
raw pork an' hard tack. ,
"Mistis, she nseter sen' Marse John er pasel
er cakes an' sassage, ^' one stuff er 'nother, when
de boats went down ter Eo'noke, 'fo' de Yankees
git dar. But a'ter dey tuck um pris'nus, dey jamby
starve ter def. 'Kaze how's my young marster,
whar wuz useter de fat er de Ian', gwine eat dat
hard tack, whar wuz jes' lack chips, er dat po'k,
whar dey ain't cook none 'ceptin' po'in' hot water
on to it in de bar'l? Jes' well gi' it ter 'im raw
ez not ter cook it no better'n dat.
"Marse Jolm, he jis' tuck an' heaved it o'erboard
when dey gi' it ter him. Lord ! ef I ain't heerd
Marse John tell 'bout dem things so much hit
nigh 'bout 'pears ter me I fou't down ter Ro'noke
"Some our folks 'bout heer dey got all de boats
dey could fine, an' sunk um upside down, dar in
de channel, twixt Eo'noke Islan' an' Croatan ; try-
in' fer ter keep de Yankees frum guine ter Liz'-
beth CitA\ But 'twa'n't no use ! De Yankees
didn't make no mo' er dem boats 'an de would
er turkle; dey jis' blowed um all ter flinders, an'
come right erlong th'oo.
And Other Southern Stories. 59
''When dey git dar ter town dey ^leased de pris-
'ners, an' Marse John come home. Lord ! ef we
wa'n't glad ter see 'im ! Mistis an' Miss Kate dey
right nachly cried fer joy. Marse John sho'ly
did look scan'lus do ! He hadn't been shaved none
ner had 'is hair cut none in jamby eight months.
He sho'ly did 'mind me ub er b'ar. He look right
"Well, he stayed long dar home right smart
while, den he went erway ergin ter fight de Yan-
kees some mo'. He wa'n't done yit. 'Pears lack
he hate de Yankees so bad he couldn't res' 'dout
he's fightin' um.
"We all sho'ly did feel lonesome a'ter Marse
John lef . Hit seem jis' lack somebody ner wuz
dead. We didn't know what wuz gwine ter come
er him er de rest er our folks 'nother. 'Kaze de
Yankees, when de git dar to 'Liz'beth City, dey
jis' scattered all 0' de kentry, rippin' an' tearin' an'
doin'. Some er our mens j'in'd um, an' called
dese'f buff'loes. When our folks heered er dat
dey wuz mad ez blazes. 01 e marster an' Marse
Seth cussed um blue, 'kaze dey jine de Yankees,
er-fightin' 'g'inst dey own folks.
"Twixt all dem an' de g'rillers, what dey call
bush-whackers, 'kaze dey hide 'hind bushes, trees
an' sich lack, an' fights on de sly — twixt all dem,
thinks I, how's anybody gwine keep frum gittin'
killed. I wuz so skeered I didn't know what ter
do. Sometimes T couldn't eben ha' de heart ter
pray none. Ef it hadn't been fer lebin' our folks,
I b'le'e I'd er gone in de woods an' hid in er holler
tree, lack er squir'l. But some er de darkies wuz
happy ez dey kin be, 'kaze dey hope de Yankees
6o The Eyrie,
gwine whip, an' dey kin git de frednm. But dat
"vra'n't me. No, sar ! I wuz jis' ez free ez I
want ter be.
"Some er de niggers done gone ter jine de Yan-
kees. But none er ole marster's hadn't gone yit.
Dey neber lef twell de nigger reg'ment come. Dat
wuz er skeerry time, shore's you er born ! Dey
had white officers o' um ; but when de folks seed
all dem nigger pickets all about, dey sutney wuz
skeered. One night er pasel er um come out our
way, an' camped right out yander in de fiel'. When
hit got good an' dark we could see de camp-far's
er burnin', an' all dem soldiers gethered roun'.
Dat's de fust time I seed Marse Seth skeered. He
didn't know how many er ole marster's darkies
he could 'pend on, an' wid all dem niggers out
dar so nigh de house, hit wuz dang'ous. So Marse
Seth, widout sayin' er word ter nobody, he went
out dat night an' axed de white Cap'n ter sen' er
guard ter 'tect our folks. An' he done it, too;
but de guard was mostly niggers do. Dey neber
pestered nuffin ; but next mornin' dey wuz all gone,
an' nigh 'bout all er ole marster's darkies done
gone wid um. Der wa'n't but five lef 'sides me,
an' ole marster had sixty head un um. Jamby all
de darkies 'bout heer went o5 dat night an' jine
de nigger sold'ers.
"I went out dar nex' mornin' ter whar dey had
de camps, an' bless yo' soul ! ef dey hadn't bu'nt
up nigh 'bout all de fence 'roun' de fiel'. An' dem
wuz bran' new Cyprus rails, too. I wuz so put
out I didn't know what ter do, 'kaze I knowed I
had ter go right ter wuck an' maul some mo'.
"Well, arter dat I didn't git so mighty skeered
And Other Southern Stories. 6i
twell de g'rillers come a'ter de horses. Dey come
one night an' 'manded de stable key f um ole
marster, say dey wanted some hosses. Dar wuz
er whole pasel im nm, an' ole marster knowed he
didn't ha' no way ter 'zist um, so he gin nm de
key. Two er th'ee weeks 'fo' dat I had gitten two
gre't, big car'y-log chains an' stretched nm 'cross
de stable do' an' fastened um tight, ter keep any-
body frum gittin' dem hosses. I knowed dem
critters couldn't come th'oo de chains ter sabe
der life. De g'rillers dey fumbled an' dey fum-
bled at de chains, tryin' fer ter ondo um, but dey
couldn't do it do. I wuz hid 'hind de kitchen,
watchin' um. When dey fine dey can't ondo de
chains, dey 'gun ter holler at de hosses, an' dey
skeered um so bad dey jest squatted right down
an' come smack under dem chains, an' went
er-rippin' an' kittin' all ober de barn-lot. De g'ril-
lers tuck a'ter um, tryin' fer ter ketch um ; but
dey must er knowed who dey wuz, 'kaze dey jist
snorted an' kicked up der heels, an 'tickler de mules,
an' run so fas' ye might jis' ez well try ter ketch
lightnin' ez dem creeters. When I seed de g'rillers
runnin' an' hollerin' fit ter break der neck, I jis'
" ^Go it, now ! Ketch um ef ye kin !' 'kaze I
knowed dey couldn't do it ter sabe der gizzards.
I 'spected ev'ry minute ter see some er dem mules
kick um high ez er kite. Presney dey lebe, mad
ez dey kin be. But dey ain't git no hosses her
mules nuther ; 'kaze dem creeters had too much
sense ter be ketch by er pack er varments lack
62 The Eyrie,
Uncle Miles shook with laughter over the recol-
lection of this scene. He resumed:
"We wuz right 'tween two far's. I dunno which
I wuz de skeerdest un, de buff'loes er de g'rillers.
'Peared lack dey wuz jis' let loose. Dey had er heart
lack er turkle; dey didn't keer fer nothin'.
"When de darkies seed um comin' dey would
put right off er-porin' fer de ^quarters.'
" 'Long 'bout dem times we couldn't hardly
make out ter stem de tide. We wuz study 'spect-
in' ter git killed. I tell you, sar, 'twas er hard
row er stumps.
"We useter hear f'um Marse John sometimes.
One time he writ us he got wounded in de arm,
an erner time dat dey had tuck 'im pris'ner. An'
presney heer come er letter sayin' he had fell in
lub wid de prison-keeper's da' ter; an' he say he
gwine ter marry her, an fetch 'er home wid 'im
when he come. Mistis, she writ an' say she can't
neber gi' her consent fer Marse John ter marry
er Yankee gal. He writ back dat he can't gi'
up 'is sweetheart fer nobody, not eben 'is ma, good
ez he lub her. He say he gwine git married ef
he lib, jist ez soon ez de war wuz ober. An' he
done it, too. When Marse John git 'is head sot
on doin' anythin' he gwine do it sho', an' errybody
jis' well keep der mouf shet.
"Well, we got 'long right smart and didn't ha'
much trouble smack twell Eichmond fell. Our
folks sho'ly did grebe ter hear dat. It clean broke
ole Marster's heart. Hit useter make me cry ter
see 'im gwine 'bout dar, wid 'is head bowed down,
lack he lost his las' frien'. He wuz mighty ole
an' po'ly, an' dat finished 'im.
And Other Southern Stories. 63
"Xot many days a'ter de news come 'bont Eich-
mon', I seed ole Marster settin' under de big oak
in de yard. Dar he sot, leaning up ergin de tree,
an' his hat an' stick had fell on de groim'. He
look kinder ciir'oiis, an' I 'gun ter git mighty
skeered. I run ter 'im, an' called 'im an' shuch
'im, an' begged 'im ter speak jis' one mo' M'ord
ter po' ole Miles what lubed 'im so true; but he
wuz dead, sar ! Dead an' cole, an' stil? I He wa'n't
neber gwine speak ter — me no mo' — twell we meets
— whar der ain't gwine be no mo' partin' an' whar
de tears is all gwine be wiped erway. Amen !
"A'ter we laid 'im out in de big parlor, I seed
little Marse Hal er-peepin' in dar th'oo de do'. I
ax 'im what he doin'. He look up at me wid er
cur'ous look in dem purty blue eyes an' he say
kinder low an' solum :
" 'I's watchin' fer de anguls, Unc' Miles. Ma
says when good peoples dies, de angels comes an'
takes um home ter heben. Pa's good. Why don't
dey come a'ter him?'
" ^Maybe dey's already been, little Marster,' says
" 'No, dey ain't,' says he, ' 'kaze I's been watch -
in' fer um all day. I wants ter see um when dey
comes, an' ax um ter take me, too; 'kaze Pa'll be
lonesome widout me. He'll miss me so bad, Unc'
" 'Lord, honey ! Don't you talk like that,' says
I. 'An' don't you watch fer de anguls no mo'. I
^specks dey's already been an' tuck ole Marster
home ter heb'n. Anguls ain't nufhn' but sperits,
an' you can't see er sperit,' sa3'S I.
"I knowed I wuz lyin' ter dat chile. 'Kaze ain't
64 The Eyrie,
I seed many er sperit wid dese heer eyes er mine.
But ye ain't 'bleeged ter tell chillun errytliing. So
I tuck little Marse Hal by de ban' an' led ^im out
in de lane, an' played wid 'im, an' talked ter 'im,
jist ter git his mine off de anguls. Lord amassy !
be looked jist lack a little angul bisse'f. Dat he
^''Marse John neber knowed ole Marster wuz
dead untwel he wuz done an' bur'ied. When he
do come home, he fotch 'is Yankee wife wid 'im.
But 'peered lack she wa'n't neber satisfied in dese
parts. Marse John say she pinin' fer de Norf.
So a'ter erwhile he tuck 'er home; an' dey ain't
come back heer ter lib no mo'.
"Dat same summer Marse John went erwav, dat
blessed chile, little Marse Hal, whar we all sot
our hearts on, 'gun ter jist pine erway, an' wilt,
lack er tender plant dat de hot sun an' de rough
winds is too much fer. Yes, sar, he jis' 'gun ter pine
an' pine, an' say he tired all de time, an' 'peered lack
his skin got whiter an' his blue eyes bigger an'
solumer erry day. At fust we didn't git so mighty
oneasy, but at last we seed he wuz dang'ous. Den
we all 'gin up err}i:hing, an' some un us sot by
'im night an' day. We kotch erry word he said,
an' watched erry breath he drawed, an' erry sweet
smile dat lit up dem precious eyes. We done all
we could, an' de doctor, he come erry day and done
all Tie could; but dat sweet chile wuz too tender
an' lovin' an' good fer dis worl', an' de Lord
wanted 'im up dar wid him; an' I knowed ole
marster couldn't neber be satisfied twell he geth-
ered 'im in his arms once mo'. I sot by dat bed
many er time, an' ergin an' ergin dem words er
And Other Southern Stories. 65
little Marse Hal, ^bout axin' de anguls ter take
him, too, ^kaze his Pa'd be so lonesum widout him,
come back ter me ; an^ well I knowed dis heer heart
wuz 'bleeged ter break. Yes, sar, well I knowed
how sad an' lonesome hit gwine ter be when de
siinsliine had all lef , an' de shaders fell.
"De night he died we all gethered ^roun' de
bed. De winders stood open, an' de air wnz sweet
wid de smell er roses an' honeysuckle an' jessa-
"Dar all 'roun' de do', and in de po'ch, an' un-
der de winders, stood piles an' piles er darkies,
lack gre't, black clouds 'g'inst de moonlight what
flooded de whole worl', lack de sky done open so
we kin se de light whar shine 'round de gre't
"Errybody had sot der heart on little Marse
Hal; an' de tears an' de sobs er white an' black
showed how dear he wuz ter all. An' dar he lay
wid 'is bref commin' hard, an' 'is eyes haf shet,
an' 'is face mos' ez white ez de piller whar his
head wid de purty yaller curls wuz restin' 'g'inst.
Presney he open 'is eyes right wide, an' er sweet
smile lit up his face.
" ^I hears de anguls comin', says he. TJisten !
"Den he shet dem sweet blue eyes an' Jine dat
angul band, smilin' all de time. An' dat smile
neber lef 'is face; it wuz dar a'ter he wuz dead.
"Did I say dead, marster? Marse Hal ain't
dead ! he comes in de nighttime an' talks ter me.
He don't lay off ter let me fergit 'im. De bu'ds
in de trees sing ter me erbout 'im; an' in all de
blue flowers I see dem sweet blue eyes, an' de yal-
66 The Eyrie,
ler ones fetch back dem curls. !N'o, sar ! He don't
lay off ter let me fergit ^im.
"You say you wants ter heer de rest, marster?
Well, den, de nex' thing comes de far'. When dat
big house ketched erfar' an' bu'nt up, hit wuz er
turrible sight. But dat wuz de een' er de wust
trouble. Right smart while 'fo' dat, Marse Seth
been studyin' law, an' useter 'cite ter er lawyer dar
ter town. A'ter er while he writ er book, an'
made piles er money. Den he went ter er mighty
doctor dar ter New York, what koured all kinds
er cripples. He kept er stayin' dar ter New York
an' writ back de doeter 'peared ter be helpin' 'is
knee. Dat's all he writ.
"One day Miss Kate wuz settin' on de front
po'ch, an' I wuz wuckin' in de flower garden, when
presney we look an' see Marse Seth comin' up
on hossback. I started ter go an' 'sist 'im ter 'light ;
but, bless yo' soul, 'fo' I git dar he wuz on de
groun' er walkin' to de house widout no krotches
er nuffin'. I stood right still er lookin' at 'im
wid 'stonishment ; but Miss Kate jumped up an'
run out ter meet 'im.
^Oh, Seth, I's so glad,' says she.
^He jest tuck er right in 'is arms an' kissed
her time an' ergin. Den we went in de house
tergedder an' all had er mighty 'joicin' 'kaze Marse
Seth got well.
"An' den de nex' thing come de weddin'; an'
nobody neber seed no sweeter bride dan Miss Kate.
Dat night dey wuz walkin' 'mongst de flowers an'
de moon wuz ez bright ez day. Dey stopped by
de lilac bush, an' I heered Marse Seth tell 'er dat
And Other Southern Stories. 67
he wuz de happiest man in de worF. She looked
up in 'is face wid er sweet smile, an' say :
" ^An' I am de happiest woman. But, Seth/
says she, ^I would er had ye long ergo ef ye had
" 'Heb'n bless you/ says he, er puttin' 'is arm
erroun' her, an' den: 'You know why I didn't,
dear,' says he. 'You knows dat I has lubed you
fer years an' years — always, in fact, altho' I did
" 'Yes, Seth, I knows,' says she. An' she did,
"Women folks is cur'ous creeters. 'Pears lack
dey kin look right inter er man's eyes an' read
what's writ do^n deep in 'is heart, widout his sayin'
er word. Dey sho'ly is hard ter fool.
"Dat's er long time ergo, but I thinks erbout
dem days mighty of 'en; an' sometimes I wishes
I wiiz back dar in de ole times. Yes, sar, right
back dar, 'mongst all our folks, wid little Marse
Hal er-playin' 'roun' my knee. I ain't neber lubbed
nobody good ez I do dat chile. 'Pears lack I kin
see 'im yit, wid 'is purty yaller curls, an' 'is sof,
white skin, an' dem solum blue eyes, wid dat lit-
tle tear-drop alus in de corner. I gits ter study-
in' sometimes, an' I wimders how dat chile looks
in heb'n. But one thing I Jcnotvs: Dar ain't no
angul up dar got no brighter crown dan de purty
gole curls er little Marse Hal."
68 The Eyrie,
By Bettie Freshwater Pool.
ANGEL OF MY GETHSEMANE.
Angel of my Gethsemane,
0, hear my pleading cry to thee!
My life falls dead, my faith grows dim.
E'en God forsakes — why turn to him?
The shadows gather, darkness deep
Is closing round me; keep, oh, keep
My hand in thine and comfort me.
Angel of my Gethsemane.
Angel of my Gethsemane,
0, let me show my heart to thee!
My heart that bleeds, and breaks, and dies-
Turn not away thy pitying eyes !
Their light so tender, warm and true.
Falls on my soul like morning dew,
Heal with thy touch of S3'mpathy,
Angel of my Gethsemane.
And Other Southern Stories. 69
Angel of my Gethsemane,
I feel 'twas God who sent me thee;
Thy message sweet doth comfort bring,
There's balm of healing on thy wing;
My star of hope will rise again;
Thy ministry is not in vain.
'Tis Christ's own voice that speaks thro' thee,
Angel of my Gethsemane.
Angel of my Gethsemane,
0, let me kneel and break for thee
My box of alabaster sweet.
And pour its perfume at thy feet;
And let the incense swiftly rise
To highest heights of yonder skies,
TVHiose morning light now breaks for me.
Angel of my Gethsemane.
The sun sank low, and the twilight fell.
The shadows deepened on hill and dell ;
The evening star, with its soft, clear light,
Gleam'd like a gem on the brow of night.
The roses nodded and went to sleep.
The moon-flower op'ed her eye to peep,
70 The Eyrie,
With timid glance at the silver sheen
Of night's majestiC;, glorious queen.
The rivulet hushed its 'plaining song,
As it flowed the lilies pale among,
And touched their lips with sweet caress,
And warmed their hearts with love's impress.
The elm trees whispered soft and low,
The fireflies flashed their ambient glow.
The song of the mock bird, sweet and clear.
Woke the slumb'ring echoes far and near.
The sheep lay down in their pastures green.
The kine returned to their homes serene,
And darkness fell, like a sombre veil.
O'er field and meadow, hill and dale.
My home is in bogs and morasses,
I hide me away from the light.
The broad glare of day never sees me,
I venture not out save at night.
I am light as the air
As I dance, as I float.
And my form is as fair
As a fairy's bright boat.
And Other Southern Stories. 71
I glide in and out like a phantom.
Some fear me, and many admire.
Flee not when I come or I follow.
Pursue me and I will retire.
Fm a spirit of night
In a form strange and weird.
In my breath there is blight,
Plants and flowers I have seared.
In many a legend and romance
A place of importance I hold,
And theme I have been for the poet,
In ages and countries untold.
Though I hide in a fen
In the damp and the dark,
I allure many men
By my meteor spark.
OUE FLOWEE AND STAR.
As some fair rose that lifts its head,
To greet the morning sunlight warm.
But ere the evening comes is dead,
Shattered by some passing storm.
So perished our flower.
72 The Eyrie,
But as the rose again will bloom,
And grace perchance some fairer scene,
In some bright land beyond the tomb,
Where storm of anguish ne'er hath been.
May bloom our flower.
As some grand comet, bright and bold.
Eclipsing orbs of lesser light,
Which as we wond'ringly behold
Is deep engulfed in darkest night,
So vanished our star.
But as that comet's fleeting light.
Perchance illumines some higher sphere^j
In heaven more gloriously bright.
Than when we gazed upon it here,
May shine our star.
As when some one on desert strand
Eemote from all he loves on earth.
Sees in a dream the happy band
That erst did gather 'round his hearth.
And smiles in sleep and opes his arms,
To clasp them tight, so near they seem,
When fades the scene with all its charms.
And soon he knows 'twas but a dream.
And Other Southern Stories. 73
So, oft across the silence, dear.
That lies between thy heart and mine.
Bright visions of old joys appear,
Which now as then seem half divine;
Again thy voice sounds in mine ear.
Again thy glances fondly beam,
But on my cheek soon falls a tear.
For I remember I but dream.
Softly the breeze murmurs by, love.
And brightly the wild flowers bloom.
Gaily the birds sing on high, love.
The warm air is filled with perfume.
But o^er me a sadness is stealing.
That nought but thy presence can cheer.
Day by day still more revealing.
Without thee my life would be drear.
Come to me, come to me, dearest I
If but in dreams while I sleep.
Come to me, come to me, dearest.
Why do you leave me to weep?
74 The Eyrie,
Drowsy and sweet hums the bee, love.
And gently the stream ripples by,
Green grows the grass on the lea, love,
And fair spreads the bine sky on high.
But still I sit sad and lonely.
And long for thy bright smile in vain.
Thou, dearest one, and thou only,
Canst bring to me gladness again.
Good Masser, 'sturb me not, I pray,
Dus early at de break er day,
Tse had a very awful fight.
An' has not slep' one wink dis night,
De fleas made up dey mine, 'tis plain,
Ter tackle me wid might and main.
I tell you, sar, der name is legion,
Dey come frum all eroun' dis region
An' sot on me, untwell I think
Dey 'tended all my blood to drink.
I sho'ly made a mighty fight
Ter let 'em know whut wuz my spite.
But how dey hopt, an' how dey bit I
An' how I jumpt, an' how I hit!
I slapt one hur, I slapt one dare,
Untwell I 'gun to clean dispair.
And Other Southern Stones. 75
^Kaze time I think I got him snug
He's gone, dat black consarned bug!
An' lit somewhar' an' bit ergin
An' made me jump jes' lack er pin
Had stuck its p'int clean throo my hide
An' come out on de tother side.
I git ez mad ez I kin be,
An holler at dat blessed flea,
An' tell 'im I gwine ketch him shore
An' mash him 'twell I make 'im roar.
But 'pear lack he ain't got no year.
Leastways, he 'tends dat he can't hear,
An' keeps on biting jes' de same,
Untwell he sets me all aflame.
I neber was so flounder flat,
I feels jes' lack er drownded rat.
Gently fold her lily hands,
Softly close her eyes of blue.
Tenderly on her fair brow.
Smooth the locks of golden hue.
Tranquilly she sleeps to-night.
Free from every grief and pain.
Calmly lay her to her rest.
On her soul not one dark stain.
76 The Eyrie,
Early did she fade away,
Like some fair and fragile flower,
Fondly did we cherish her,
^Till death's chill and darksome hour.
Brightly, like a sunbeam rare,
Shone she in our home so sweet,
Darkly now the shadows fall,
With the passing of her feet.
MY DEAE SUNNY SOUTHLAND.
How dear to my heart is the fair, sunny South-
With its flowers, its song birds, its bright hum-
With its clear, winding streams, its forests prime-
Where the murmuring pine trees perfume all
How sweet is the springtime, and fair early sum-
When daisies and buttercups carpet the ground.
When odor of eglantine mingles with jasmine,
And the sweet-smelling clover is everywhere
And Other Southern Stories. 77
My dear sunny Southland,
My fair, dreamy Southland,
My musical Southland,
What joys here abound.
How gorgeous the woods in their autumnal splen-
How balmv the air, filled with scent of late
What glorious sunsets are seen at this season,
No sun ever set in more splendor than ours.
Fit home for the poet this land so romantic,
x4h, what so inspiring as beauty is found?
The sigh of the South wind, the breath of the
There is poetry, music in each sight and sound.
My dear sunny Southland,
My fair, dreamy Southland,
My musical Southland,
What joys here abound.
THOU ART SLEEPIN'G.
Thou art sleeping, thou art sleeping,
In the cold and silent tomb.
Where the nightly dew is steeping
Flowers that o'er thy slumber bloom.
78 The Eyrie,
Nevermore shall care oppress thee,
Never shall thy heart be stirred
By old memories that distress thee,
Vanished joys, and hope deferred.
Thou art sleeping, thou art sleeping,
Deep beneath the cumbrous sod,
Where the lov'd ones o'er thee weeping
Waft their souls in prayer to God.
Calm is now thy troubled spirit,
Now thy weary feet may rest.
Purest joy may'st thou inherit.
With the ransomed and the blest.
Thou art sleeping, thou art sleeping.
On the green earth's quiet breast.
Where the stars are nightly keeping
Holy vigils o'er thy rest.
All life's sorrows now are ended.
All its toil and strife are o'er;
May thy spirit be attended
By bright angels evermore.
Parody on "The Bells."
See the people with the grippe,
Hateful grippe !
And Other Southern Stories. 79
How the doctor comes and goes,
On his repeated trip.
Hear them sneezing, sneezing, sneezing,
Thro' the day and thro^ the night.
While there comes a dreadful wheezing,
That keeps np its constant teasing
Till their chests are sore and tight.
How they hack, hack, hack.
With a pain in head and back,
Making wild expostulations.
As their medicine they sip.
To the grippe, grippe, grippe, grippe.
Grippe, grippe, grippe.
To the racking and the hacking,
Of the grippe.
See the children with the grippe.
Spiteful grippe !
What a world of doleful sobbing,.
As they feel the nip !
On the silent air of night,
How they yell out their affright.
Like fierce tempestuous gales.
All in tune.
What a fearful noise assails
The poor mother as she listens.
While she hails
Death a boon.
8o The Eyrie,
Oh ! from thro' the open doors,
What a gust of shrieks and screams
How they sip, how they rip
With rage ajid pain.
What a flip they now must take.
What a dip.
To stop the aching and the breaking,
Of the grippe, grippe, grippe.
Of the grippe, grippe, grippe, grippe^
Grippe, grippe, grippe.
Stop the darting and the smarting
Of the grippe.
See the women with the grippe^
Dreadful grippe !
What a tale of terror is revealed
By eye and lip !
In the patient doctor's ear
How they pour out all their fear,
Too much terrified to sleep
They can only weep, weep
Out of tune.
In a clamourous appealing
For some relieving plaster.
With frantic exclamation.
They demand a mustard plaster.
Weeping faster, faster, faster.
And Other Southern Stories. 8i
Now the doctor, now the pastor,
They consult with hope and dread.
Tossing, tumbling on the bed.
Till overcome with fear they swoon.
Oh, the grippe, grippe, grippe.
How much physic they must sip
For relief !
How they mix and drink and scold.
How they try to cure this cold.
That has brought them so much agony.
'^et the heart it fully knows.
By the changes
And the ranges " •
How the danger ebbs and flows."
And the briny tears still drip
At the wearing and the tearing,
As the dangers rise and slip,
"At the sinking and the swelling
Of the anger'^ of the grippe.
Of the grippe, grippe, grippe, grippe.
Grippe, grippe, grippe.
Of tlie gnawing and sawing
Of the grippe.
See the men folks with the grippe.
Awful grippe !
82 The Eyrie,
What a world of fuss and fume
As they their glasses tip,
*'In the silence of the night,
How we shiver with affright
At the melancholy menace of their tone.
For every sound that floats
From the rust within their throats
Is a groan/^ •
And the demon, oh, the demon,
Eecognized by man and woman^
In their brain.
And, who, beating, beating, beating,
With all his might and main
Feels a glory in so treating
These poor men with ache and pain.
He has neither heart nor feeling
And their senses he keeps stealing
Till they're gone.
And he hammers and he grinds.
And he winds, winds, winds.
Their brains up in the grippe,
And with merry hop and skip.
He tramples in the grippe.
Ever lashing with his whip.
Leaping high, high, high.
With a whoop and with a cry.
How he maddens them with grippe.
With the grippe,
And Other Southern Stories. 83
Leaping high, high, high,
With black malice in his eye,
How he crazes them with grippe.
With the grippe, grippe, grippe.
How he dazes them with grippej»
Leaping high, high, high.
With a trip, trip, trip.
And a twinkle in his eye.
How he dances to the grippe,
To the grippe, grippe, grippe.
To the grinding of the grippe.
Of the grippe, grippe, grippe,
To the slashing and the smashing
Of the grippe.
IN GOD'S HANDS.
All things are in God's hands,
Life and death and joy and sorro'w;
All things obey his high commands.
He fashions each to-morrow.
All things, however great or higH,
All things, however small or low.
Are marked by his unslumb'ring e3^e.
As countless ages come and go.
84 The Eyrie,
Spirit omnipotent and infinite,
The mind of man can never fathom thine!
Thou rulest in thy glory and thy might.
And we must needs obey thy laws divine.
But, oh, thou art a King
Whose chief est attribute is love;
Then will we all thy praises sing,
Angels chant them up above. ,
Through all the blinding pain that comes
Show us the purpose of thy grace,
Eeveal thou througl:^ the darkest storms.
The shining glory of thy face.
As through a glass we now but darkly see.
And thy designs can only feebly trace;
But thou hast promised in eternity,
We shall see all things clearly "face to face.
Soon life's short race is run.
Gone by the evils that betide.
Beyond a new life is begun.
0, Heavenly Father, be out guide.
Direct us in the paths of right,
While here our wayward footsteps stray.
Increase our love. Let faith's pure light.
Shine as a star above our way.
When we at last have burst the bonds of time,
And rise to thy fair realms of fadeless light.
We'll, in the joyful peace of that bright clime.
Forget the dreary darkness of earth's night.
And Other Southern Stories. 85
MY LOVE IS ALL AROUND THEE.
My love is all around thee,
A mystic, magic spell.
A flood of golden sunshine.
Wherein no dark may dwell.
Life's storms may gather round thee,
Heed not the tempest's roar,
My love will be the beacon
That guides thee safe to shore.
My love is all around thee ;
N"o evil can come near,
Not all the powers of darkness,
In league could harm thee, dear.
Temptation's siren voices.
May call thee day and night.
My love will be the anchor,
That moors thee to the right.
Mv love is all around thee ;
E'en in death's darksome hour,
^Twill shed its perfume o'er thee,
Like some sweet fadeless flower.
And bv the crvstal river,
More deathless than a star,
Love's flower will bloom immortal
When we have ^'crossed the bar.*'
86 The Eyrie,
By Gastox Pool.
One morning in August, as I was sipping a glass
of Hock to steady my nerves after a swell banquet
at Delmonico's, the following telegram was handed
"Mobile, Ala., August 16, 1878.
To John Loring,
New York City.
I am critically ill. Business of importance. Come
at once. Arthur Boswell."
I read the message carefully, and arrived at
this conclusion : The old gentleman, my scape-
grace uncle, was about to die and leave me his for-
Arthur Bos well, my mother's uncle, had in '48,
committed a felony. He fled from his home to
escape the penalty of the law, and for two years led
the life of a fugitive in the great Dismal Swamp.
About the year 1850, he went to Mobile. Here
he had amassed, by precarious methods, a large
And Other Southern Stories. 87
I had never seen my delectable granduncle, this
degenerate scion of a noble stock, but had heard his
history from my father.
You may be sure I had no wish to soothe the dy-
ing hours of my decrepit relative; but here was
an opportunity not to be lost. I seized it by the fore-
lock, and was the same day on my way to the
beautiful city on the Gulf.
It was night when I arrived in Mobile, but a
drive of twenty minutes brought me to my uncle's
residence. A withered negro crone received me
at the door, and showed me into a large room which
opened on the hall from the right. The room was
meanly furnished. The straggling remains of a
straw matting clung to the floor in spots. The
old, faded fustian curtains gave forth a heavy,
musty odor ; and the table, horse-hair sofa, and few
chairs which completed the interior decorations,
were rickety and wormeaten. A small kerosene
lamp, whose dismal light struggled through a very
dirty chimney, served to make the darkness visible.
The house (I discovered afterward) was old and
dilapidated. It was two stories high and con-
tained eight rooms. Two wide central passages —
one above, the other below stairs — divided the
mansion exactly into halves; and upon these halls
the upper and lower rooms opened respectively.
A spacious, old-fashioned porch, and a balconv
above shaded by huge red cedars, afforded a cool
retreat durino; the hot weather. The vard was
large, and contained several outbuildings, all in
a tumble-down condition.
When I had finished a very meager supper, the
harridan conducted me to my uncle's apartment,
88 ' The Eyrie,
the second room to the left on the second floor.
The wide, empty, resounding halls were involved
in Cimmerian blackness. I could see nothing — ■
could only follow the echoing footsteps of the hag.
When we reached the room the old woman mut-
tered in my ear: "Don^t be frightened. They
won't hurt you ;^^ and threw open the door.
I was instantly blinded — completely overwhelmed
— by the flood of dazzling light which enveloped
me. At the same moment a violent uproar smote
upon my ears.
In two or three minutes my eyes became accus-
tomed to the light, and I advanced into the room.
The walls were done in azure with gold trim-
mings, and hung with a few fine oil paintings.
The furniture was upholstered in blue and gold
' — an arabesque design on a blue ground — to match
the walls and ceiling. Persian and Turkish rugs
were scattered about the floor, which was waxed
over a hard oil finish. The curtains of blue and
gold brocade were artistically draped about the tall
windows. Blue and gold prevailed in the tone
of the bed-hangings, the easy-chairs, and a Japan-
ese lacquered table which stood near the center of
the room. A powerful arc lamp, of four hundred
candle-power, depended from the ceiling, and glared
with burly brightness through the apartment.
The old man was reclining on a small Turkish
divan, rich with Oriental embroideries. His two
dogs lay crouched beside him on the skin of some
wild jungle beast, snarling and growling fearfully.
One was a bulldog of enormous size, deep-
mouthed, wide-chested and tawny. The bristles
of his neck, now standing erect in his angry trans-
And Other Southern Stories. 89
port, were long, thick and shaggy, and resembled
the mane of an African lion. His bloodshot eyes
gleamed with a lurid fire; his tail oscillated with
repressed rage; his terrible fangs gnashed threat-
eningly. The other was a pure-bred bloodhound,
not so fierce; but there was that in his determined
aspect, his deeply-divided nostrils, his hanging
jaws and his somber glance which might well ter-
rify the bravest. Heavy steel collars, to which were
attached strong chains, encircled the necks of these
formidable body-guards. These chains their mas-
ter held in his hands, and restrained by word and
gesture their impatience at my intrusion.
The owner of the dogs, reposing nonchalantly
on the Turkish divan, was a tall, spare man, whose
age it would be difficult to determine. Over his
angular jaws and sharp chin the sallow skin was
tightly drawn, but his lorehead was embossed with
numberless wrinkles. His iron-gray hair, of
which he had an abundance, was close-cut behind
and brushed up in the pompadour style. His pale,
gray eyes looked out under heavy brows. He was
clean-shaven, and a chronic sneer lurked in the
lines about his mouth. His hands were delicate
and well-kept, and his feet gracefully modeled.
He wore a black China silk dressing-gown, em-
broidered with yellow chrysanthemums, a low-cut
white silk vest, black pantaloons, white tie and dia-
mond-studs. Turkish slippers and a scarlet fez
completed his costume and revealed his Oriental
"So you are my nephew, John Loring?" said
my uncle, in a high, thin voice. "Heaven knows
I am glad to see you. This seems a strange recep-
90 The Eyrie,
tion, I know, but yon must make allowances, my
dear sir — you must make allowances for the vaga-
ries of an old man. These dogs are the best friends
I have in the world. They love me, they fear
me, they protect me. And I return their affec-
tion. Am I not right, sir?'^
I replied that nothing could be more natural.
"Cerberus sleeps in this room, and Argus in
the hall below. Oh, you^ll soon get acquainted
with them," laughed the old man. "Throw a sop
to Cerberus, and you'll easily propitiate him. He
differs from his Plutonic prototype in having but
one head, but his reasoning powers are much bet-
ter developed than were those of the triple-headed
guardian of Pluto's dominions. He knows his
friends and mine. In a little while he will rec-
ognize you as a kinsman. Observe his frontal
development, his corrugated brow, the seat of the
reason, and his intellectual expression.
"I told 3'ou I had business of importance to com-
municate— and I have. But to-morrow I will ex-
plain myself. You are tired. I will ring for
Sarah to show you to your room," and he touched
an electric bell.
By this time the dogs had become reconciled to
my presence in the room, and had ceased their
hostile demonstrations. Taking advantage of their
quiescence, my uncle dropped the chains he had
been holding, rose from the sofa, and advanced
with stately, though feeble steps to shake hands
with me before I retired.
As his nervous hand closed on mine in cordial
grasp — the first opportunity we had had of ex-
changing this courtesy — ^his hard lips relaxed in
And Other Southern Stories. 91
a genial smile. I saw I had made a favorable im-
"Can I do anj^thing for you before retiring?"
"Xothing, thank yon. Sarah and the dogs will
take care of me. I shall let you know when you
can be of service.
"We must mend our fare, Sarah — and give him
the best bed-chamber. Remember that my
nephew, John, is the darling of the New York'
clubs, and we must do what we can to make him
"Come to me at ten in the morning," he said,
I promised to be promptly on hand, and we
parted for the night.
Sarah led the way across the hall to the room
opposite my uncle's. It was large, airy, and
plainly but comfortably furnished.
When I was left alone, I lighted a cigar, and
drawing a willow rocker close to the window be-
gan to speculate upon my uncle's eccentricities.
I had not been long seated when I heard the door
opposite my own open. This was immediately
followed by the bounding of the two dogs in the
passage, and my uncle's voice saying:
"Cerberus ! Argus ! Do your duty."
Then they went down the stairs in great leaps.
Sarah let them out at the front door, and they
proceeded to inspect the premises. They soon re-
turned, but when admitted into the house, one re-
mained below to guard the front door, while the
other took his place at the bedside of his master.
I learned afterward that this nightly inspection was
92 The Eyrie,
never omitted. The next morning at ten o'clock
sharp, I presented myself in my nncle^s apart-
He received me graciously, saying:
"Good morning, John. I hope yon slept well.
I had rather a bad night. The pain in my kid-
neys troubled me a good deal.'^
I told him I had slept tJie sweet sleep of the
innocent, and expressed concern at his physical
"Yes, I am likely to die any day. I have al-
ready lasted longer than my physicians thought
possible. I have to be kept under the influence
of narcotics nearly all the time. I am going to
die, John — and soon, very soon. I am haunted
at night by hideous specters. Grim monsters from
the nether world leer at me from the wall. They
whisper, they giggle, they make the most horrible
grimaces. Sometimes they beckon me to join in
their infernal games — sometimes hurl terrible
curses at my defenseless head."
AVhile describing his hallucinations the poor
man worked himself up to a fearful pitch of ex-
citement. It was painful to see the twitching of
his mouth and eyelids, his weak tremblings, and
his ghastly pallor. I now understood why he kept
that brilliant light burning all night in his room.
I hastily mixed a glass of brandy and water,
which revived him greatly, and he was soon him-
self again. I insisted that the goblins who haunted
his couch were mere delusions of the imagination
— freaks of an overwrought fancy, superinduced
by the opiates he took.
He listened to my arguments with attention,
And Other Southern Stories. 93
but made no reply. I think, however, they af-
forded him some comfort.
I began to assiduously cultivate the acquaint-
ance of Cerberus and Argus. I not only "threw
a sop to Cerberus" in the form of a mutton chop,
but likewise one to Argus, to prevent any jealousy
on his part. In a few days we had become fast
One day my uncle said : "John, let^s talk busi-
ness. I sent for you to take charge of my af-
fairs. I can get nobody whom I can trust. I
have been worried to death by incompetent and
untrustworthy agents. You are my relative — I
have no friends except my dogs ; and I shall make
you my heir. I want you to learn matters of busi-
ness. I want you to learn to make money and
keep it. My estate is large, and requires manage-
ment. I want to leave it in good hands. You
must take care of it and build it up. You have
a lifetime before you. In thirty years, by judicious
handling, you may make it rival Astor's or Van-
I thanked him warmly for his kind intentions,
and promised obedience to his wishes.
All that day we looked over books and papers ;
notes, mortgages, stocks, bonds and rent rolls. The
next day I went to work in earnest, and was sur-
prised to find that I rather enjoyed it. In two
wrecks I had collected more than ten thousand dol-
lars, and the old man was greatly pleased with my
exertions. For three months I worked hard — de-
voting myself exclusively to business. At the end
of that time I was as familiar with my uncle's af-
94 The Eyrie,
fairs as he was himself^ and had completely gained
These three months had drasr^ed Arthur Bos-
well rapidly towards the grave. He already looked
like a dead man ; but I had done my duty, and had
nothing with which to reproach myself.
One morning, towards the latter part of Novem-
ber, I took Uncle Arthur for a drive. It was one
of those bright, mild days so often seen in the
Indian summer of the South ; but the sick man
shivered as with internal cold. Still he talked
cheerfully, and seemed in unusually good spirits.
When we were passing the cemetery he bade me
"I want to show you my tomb,'^ said he.
I wondered what he meant, but said nothing.
He directed me where to stop, and I assisted him
Within a neat iron railing was a white mar-
ble edifice, built in imitation of a Hindoo tem-
ple. This exquisite tomb enclosed two massive
marble sarcophagi of ornate design. One of these
held the remains of his only brother, the other
was destined for his own resting place. A Smyrna
carpet covered the floor, oil paintings adorned the
walls, and statues of heathen goddesses were
ranged on either side of the sarcophagi.
While I gazed in wonder and admiration on
the beautiful mausoleum, my uncle smiled com-
placently, and asked me if I could imagine any-
thing more enchanting.
I heaped the highest encomiums on the skill
and taste displayed by the architect who conceived
and executed this chef-dwuvre in monumental
And Other Southern Stories. 95
marble. The old gentleman seemed highly de-
lighted at m}^ enthusiasm, and himself delivered
a paneg}Tic on the beauties of his tern plum de mar-
"The knowledge that my dust shall be consigned
to imperishable marble, and roofed over by this
temple of ideal beauty, almost reconciles me to
the thought of death,^^ he said.
Three days after this visit to the cemetery, Ar-
thur Boswell died. By the provisions of his will.
Cerberus and Argus were each granted an annuitv
of two hundred dollars during their lives. Except-
ing these annuities, and small bequests to his two
servants, I was the sole legatee.
I NOW found myself in possession of property
valued at three million dollars. Strange as it mav
seem, now that I was a wealthy man, I had no
desire to return to my old, idle, aimless life. Mv
views had changed. I had imbibed some of my
uncle's ideas, and was now fired with an ambi"^
tion to swell my fortune to vast proportions. Dur-
ing my short apprenticeship in the care of my un-
cle's affairs, I had developed a genius for busi-
ness which surprised me. I found an active, bus-
tling life much more agreeable than lounging in
club-rooms, or dawdling at "five o'clock teas." "My
health was fine, and I was ready to begin the strug-
gle for more millions. After clearing off my debts
I settled down to work in Mobile. I had the old
house thoroughly repaired, repainted, and refur-
nished, and decided upon my uncle's room as my
()6 The Eyrie,
sleeping apartment — it being the pleasantest and
best appointed room in the house. Sarah and
Aaron, Uncle Arthur's old servants^, remained with
me ; the dogs occupied their old quarters ; and I felt
happy in the new possession of my renovated
I spent three weeks in N"ew York, on business,
and on my return occupied my new room for the
first time. I was well pleased with the improve-
ments throughout the house (which had been com-
pleted during my absence), but was particularly
delighted with my new bedchamber. Here noth-
ing was changed — except that I had had a twenty-
four candle-power incandescent globe substituted
for the powerful arc lamp. The dogs evinced al-
most human grief at Uncle Arthur's death, but
they fawned upon me to-night with evident de-
light at my return, and seemed to recognize me as
their new master. I let them out at ten o'clock
for their nightly inspection, and then Cerberus re-
turned to his post of duty. I was smoking a
Cubana, and looking over an evening paper, when
the light suddenly went out. I attributed the cir-
cumstance to an abrupt break in the electric cur-
rent, through something amiss with the machinery
of the plant, and waited a few minutes to see if
the light would reappear. In the meantime I
noticed, by the light of the fire, that Cerberus sat
upon his haunches about two yards distant, growl-
ing sullenly. He was looking towards the middle
of the room, and a vague fear dwelt in his eyes.
I called him twice before he came to my side, and
even then he kept his eyes fixed on the same spot,
and never ceased his low growling.
And Other Southern Stories. 97
I spoke to him soothingly, but he paid no at-
tention. What could be the matter? To see this
ferocious dog, the Ajax of his race, quail at a
shadow, was inexplicable.
Becoming impatient to resume my reading, I
stepped under the lamp to see what was wrong with
it. As I did so a wave of cold air came from the
direction of the door, as if it had been opened
and shut noiselessly. I tried the stopcock, and was
surprised to find that the light had been turned off
by something or somebody in the room. As the
light again flashed through the apartment Cer-
berus sprang towards the door, barking furiously.
I rushed downstairs in pursuit of what I took to
be a sneak thief, who had somehow gained an en-
trance to the room without my knowledge. But
when I got as far as the front door I stopped to
consider. There was Argus lying quietly before
the door, and I knew the thief could not have es-
caped that way without a terrible struggle with
the vigilant bloodhound.
Cerberus would not join the pursuit, but sulked
at his post. So I took Argus, and we made a
thorough search of the house and grounds, but
could find no trace of the miscreant.
Eeturning disappointed to my room, I was soon
absorbed in an article on the race problem.
I had been reading more than a quarter of an
hour, when the light disappeared as suddenly and
mvsteriouslv as at first. Thinking to catch the
marauder this time, I made a quick dash towards
the lamp, but my outstretched hands grasped only
empty air, and I heard a mocking laugh, as if
at my discomfiture. The situation was be-
98 The Eyrie,
coming interesting. My "ancle's ghosts were evi-
dently taking liberties with me. It was plain
that I could not depend on Cerberus as an ally
against spirits and demons, for he was crouched
behind the stove uttering lugubrious growls.
Being naturally fearless and even reckless in
disposition, I felt no alarm at what appeared to
be a supernatural manifestation. But the conduct
of Cerberus filled me with astonishment. In a
little while, however, his courage returned, and
he seemed to feel ashamed of his former cowardice.
As the ghost seemed to object to a light, I con-
cluded to go to bed in the dark. I put a 38-caliber
revolver under my pillow, thinking I might have
occasion to use it during the night, by way of amus-
ing my quondam visitor. I soon fell into a sound
sleep, which lasted until two o'clock in the morn-
ing. The moment my eyes opened I saw that a
luminous haze filled the room. At the same time
my olfactories were saluted with as foul a smell
as ever emanated from a charnel house. The lu-
minosity seemed not to proceed from a central
focus, but generally to pervade the atmosphere.
This chameleon-like vapor assumed varying tones
of color; shifting from somber tints of amber and
drab to hues gorgeous as the most brilliant Tyrian
dyes: then changing again to that peculiar green-
ish glow which the lampyrid^e emit in tropic lati-
tudes, it finally settled into a pale, blue, sulphur-
ous flame, which wreathed itself in forked tongues
through the mist, and lapped it up with a hissing
sound. The strong smell of brimstone, mingling
with some heavier, subtler and more detestable
odor, was nearly stifling me, and I started up to
And Other Southern Stories. 99
open a window. Just as I raised myself to a sit-
ting posture in bed, I happened to glance towards
the stove, and I could feel my hair rise on end
with horror at the ghastly spectacle I beheld.
Through the pale flicker of the noxious vapor,
I saw, seated in my armchair before the fire, a
thing so gross, so foul, so strange that my reason
reeled and my circulation stopped. A creature in
the likeness of a man, but with lineaments more
hideous, and deformity more grotesque than fiend
of hell or goblin damned. His limbs were gnarled
and twisted like the branches of an oak, an enor-
mous liver-colored wen crowned the top of his skull
and gave him the appearance of having two heads.
His lumbar vertebrae was elongated to an abnor-
mal degree, so that he could not lean back in his
chair. His attitude permitted me to see his deep-
sunk, saurian eyes, his beetling brows, his cavernous
jaws, his blubber lips and his protruding yellow
fangs. His nondescript garments were old, tat-
tered, and reeking with dank fumes, and his mis-
shapen feet were encased in huge felt slippers.
Eecovering somewhat from the shock I expe-
rienced at first sight of the apparition, I drew my
revolver, leveled it at the head of the monster, and
fired five times in rapid succession. When the
smoke of battle cleared away, I looked eagerly for
my adversary. He was nowhere to be seen. Cer-
berus was obstreperous in his demonstrations of
joy, Sarah hurried in with a light, and two po-
licemen quickly followed to learn the cause of the
I knew they would not believe me if I told them
the truth, so I lied, telling them I had been at-
lOO The Eyrie,
tacked by a burglar. This statement satisfied the
officers, and they went off in search of the sup-
posed felon, but Sarah seemed much upest by the
Weeks elapsed, and though the picture of the
monster was indelibly photographed on my retina,
I had lost all apprehension of a return of his
It was the 12th of January, 1879. I had con-
cluded a heavy deal in cotton, and was jubilant-
at the prospect of gaining twenty per cent. To
celebrate the day's transaction, I invited a few
friends to dine with me. At seven o'clock the
guests had all arrived. There was Jack Dawson,
the bank clerk; Tom Harrigan, the funny man;
Eoland Bledsoe, President Chamber of Commerce;
Charlie Loran, the local poet; James Duke, cot-
ton merchant, and Hugh Redpath Abbottsfield, edi-
tor and orator.
We were seated around a large circular table
in the banqueting hall, otherwise known as the din-
ing-room. Silver and cut-glass sparkled on the
board. The center piece was a floral dragon
mounted on an epergne of chased oxidized sil-
ver. The menu was elaborate and the conviviality
contagious. Toasts, bon-mots, jokes and songs were
the order of the night.
"Here's to the health of our gracious host," said
the cotton factor, rising, and holding up to the
light his glass of Cliquot. "May his life be long,
his love be true, and his wealth increase."
"And," added Tom Harrigan, "may his head
never swell and his heart never shrink."
"Amen," quoth the company, rising to the toast,
And Other Southern Stones. loi
and in a twinkling seven empty glasses struck the
table with a clatter.
Fast and frantic grew the mirth, as the differ-
ent wines circulated around the board and through
the veins of the imbibers.
Charlie Loran gushed over with poetry. Tom
Harrigan's frothy wit bubbled up like the sparkling
champagne. Even the pompous and dignified
Bledsoe became a maudlin sentimentalist. Twelve
times boomed the brazen bell of the city clock, but
it interrupted not the revelry.
"'Tis the witching hour of midnight/' drawled
Charlie Loran. "Look to yourself, Jack, when
you venture out on the frozen boulevards of this
"You are drunk, Charlie Loran, beastly drunk.
I repudiate the insinuation with scorn," roared
Jack Dawson. And then he broke out with the
following Bacchanalian ditty:
''When you kiss a pretty girl.
And she goes and tells her mother,
When you Inss a pretty girl.
And she goes and tells her another.
May she live to he an old maid.
May she live to he an old maid.
May she live to he an old maid.
And never get another.
^'Landlord, fill the flowing howl.
Until it does run over.
Landlord, fill the flowing howl.
Until it does run over.
102 The Eyrie,
For to-night we'll merry, merry he.
For to-night we'll merry, merry he.
For to-night we'll m,erry, merry he.
And to-morrow we'll get soher/'
The orgy reached its height. Jack Dawson was
in the middle of his song, when he stopped as sud-
denly as if he had been shot. His jaw dropped,
his cheek blanched, and a look of horror grew on
"What's the matter, Jack? Have you got the
snakes?" called out the Hon. Eedpath Abbotts-
"Perhaps he sees a spirit to-night. What won-
der they have got into his imagination."
The object of their gibes answered not, but
stared with dull and glassy eyes over the head
of his vis-a-vis.
Curiosity, or the vague apprehension begotten
of another's fear, prompted the company with one
accord, to turn their looks in the clirection taken
by the fixed and baleful gaze of the horrified bank-
teller. And had the head of the fabled gorgon
appeared in our midst it could not have created
greater consternation. With bristling hair, frozen
eyes, and rigid muscles, their countenances seemed
really hardened into stone. For there, in the room,
within ten feet of us, stood the nameless horror
who had visited me on that memorable night when
I first slept in my uncle's chamber. In the bright,
mellow light diffused by the wax candles, the
frightful form of the monster appeared with hide-
ous distinctness. His ophidian glance traveled
around the board. He advanced. He extended
And Other Southern Stories. 103
his right hand, clasping a glittering tube. A vola-
tile gas escaped. The lights grew dim and blurred.
The fiend laughed.
It was then that I recovered the power of speech,
and mustering my courage, thus addressed the
"Are you vampire, spirit, ghoul or demon? and
what is your commission upon earth ? Speak !
though your voice be terrible as the belching of
"I am thy father's spirit. Doomed for a cer-
tain time to walk the night ; and, for the day, con-
fined to fast in fires, till the foul crimes, done in
my days of nature, are burnt and purged away/'
replied the spirit, in a harsh and rumbling voice.
A silence of some minutes followed this declama-
tion, during which the specter seemed buried in
thought. At last he broke the silence with these
. "Sir Knights of the Eound Table, your deeds
of valor and chivalry have been the theme of the
poet and ""h^ minstrel for a thousand years; but
you did not know the great Shakespeare — Francis
Bacon, some called him. He was the greatest man
who ever lived execept Dan Eice. The convolu-
tions of Dan's brain enclosed nuggets of wit as
large as hen's eggs. His shining ability as a con-
tortionist made him world-famous — and he ate
himself up with chopsticks.
"Ah, there is my cousin. King Arthur," he con-
tinued, looking at me. "Strange, I have just ob-
served him. But he is looking remarkably well.
"Gentlemen, behold in me the uncouth offspring
of a criminal father.
104 The Eyrie,
"Here, judge if hell, with all its power to damn,
can add one curse to the foul thing I am.
"This vile and loathsome husk, fouler than
Frankenstein's demon or the Veiled Prophet of
Ivhorassan, masks the soul of a poet and the gen-
ius of a scientist. I have delved in the pro-
fundities of the earth. I have been the disciple
of Cagiiostro; and have mastered the secrets of
So saying, he took from an inside pocket a small
box containing a poAvder, which he sprinkled on
the floor. Then walking, or rather gliding (for,
notwithstanding his misshapen feet his movements
were singularly lithe and stealthy) in a circle
around the powder, he muttered some mystic in-
cantation. In a moment a lambent flame sprang
into being. It rose from the carpet. It floated
above our heads. It was of the color of blood. Its
ernbescence ruddied the upturned features of the
"You look with terror on that gory flame," said
the harsh and hollow voice of the demon. "Think
what the lake of perdition must be, and I —
" 'My hour is almost come,
When I to sulphurous and tormenting flames
Mu^t render up myself f "
Saying which, he threw some subtle fluid on the
flame, that instantly dissolved it in a crimson
The nervous tension was too great for human
endurance. Syncope intervened, and when I re-
covered consciousness I was alone. An open win-
And Other Southern Stories. 105
dow near at hand, revealed the manner of egress
of my guests. They had taken French leave, I
followed their example and leaped from the win-
dow. I slept at the Gulf House that night.
The next morning I sent word to Sarah that
I should for the present, take up my quarters at
the hotel. She asked for an interview, saying she
had important communications to make. Her re-
quest being granted, she told the following story,
in a dialect which I shall translate :
Twenty-six years previous to the date of this
narrative, Arthur Boswell had formed a liaison
with a deformed Creole, for whom he had con-
tracted a strange passion. The unhappy offspring
of this illicit union was (as might have been ex-
pected in some degree) a prodigious malforma-
tion of nature. A being so distorted as scarcely
to bear a semblance to the human species. In pro-
portion as the father hated, reviled and condemned
him, the mother lavished upon the child of sin the
treasures of maternal affection. At the age of
ten the child was well advanced in his studies,
under the direction of a private tutor, whom his
father grudgingly allowed. As is frequently the
case in the compensations of nature, the deformed
body was endowed with a most precocious mind.
His vigorous intellect greedily absorbed the ele-
ments of knowledge, and he often elicited the ad-
miration of his tutor by evidences of a superior
mental and moral nature. About this time that
malignant scourge, yellow fever, claimed for its
victim the only friend he had — his mother. Re-
ceived into his father's house, not from the nat-
ural sentiments of love or pity, but from the fear
io6 The Eyrie,
that the secret of his birth might otherwise be
discovered, he was kept in the most rigid confine-
ment; being concealed in tlie attic from all eyes,
save those of his tutor, who daily visited him, and
Sarah, to whose care he was confided.
The boy grew to be a man. His life had been
devoted to the cultivation of his mind. His eru-
dition was profound. He had mastered the lore
of the sages of old. He was deeply versed in litera-
ture. He had cultivated the mystic sciences, and
he was particularly addicted to experimental chem-
istry. The poor creature's fondness for Sarah, the
only person (except his tutor) who showed him
kindness, was touching, and she learned to love him
in return. The sweet temper, the docile man-
ners, the pitiable condition of this being, cursed
and blighted from his birth, won from the good old
negress sincere sympathy and genuine affection.
As he grew older his mind became morbid; his
long confinement quelled his spirit and quenched
the ardor of his youth. His father's hatred was
agony to him; he felt his intellectual superiority,
yet was denied the privilege of associating with his
fellow man. His maimed and horrible physique
was a terror to himself. He was outcast of man-
kind. He brooded over a thousand wrongs, real
and imaginary. He railed at the injustice of God
Gradually, as the years rolled on, madness fas-
tened upon his brain, and he had been for two
years hopelessly insane.
Shortlv before his death, mv uncle had informed
Sarah of his intention of disinheriting his natural
son, and making me his heir.
And Other Southern Stories. 107
Being imwilling to confess to me his terrible se-
cret he had confided to his old and valued servant
the sole charge of her protege, bequeathing her a
considerable legacy in consequence. Recent events
had alarmed Sarah for the safety of her charge,
and her conscience nrged her, on my account as
well as his, to make me her confidant — hence the
The reader will doubtless have guessed the iden-
tity of the goblin. The unfortunate son of Uncle
Arthur was removed, by my directions, to a private
asylum, where I knew he would receive every at-
tention from the humane management. I visited
him often, and in his lucid intervals found him
a delightful conversationalist. His was as strange
a case as was that of the famous Elephant-man,
the sight of whom made women faint and men turn
He died young, being spared the pain of lin-
gering in a world where he would always have
been regarded with disgust and horror.
Some further explanations regarding the mys-
terious occurrences related in this history may
be necessary, and I give them as far as I am able.
It has alreadv been said that the movements of
the monster were singularly noiseless and stealthy,
and this peculiarity, considered together with the
facility for concealing himself in the attic (which
was never searched), may account for his sudden
and mysterious appearance and disappearance. The
almost supernatural dread evinced by Cerberus for
the son of his master, can only be accounted for
on the ground that his brute instinct recognized in
the madman an implacable enemy (the maniac
io8 The Eyrie.
hated the dog) ; and who shall say but that his
canine soul quailed with a pseudo-human fear at
the uncanny attributes of the strange apparition.
As to the creation of the magic and gory
flame I can olfer no solution^ unless it be that the
savant had discovered the secret in the course of
his learned researches in esoteric science, or had
accidentally hit upon it in his scientific experi-
It may be asked how the maniac escaped death
at my hands on the night 'nrhen I fired five shots
at him. I tliink that is easily explained. Being
half dead with fright, my aim must have been
very unsteady, and the shots consequently fell
wide of the mark.
With these explanations, such as they are, I close
this tale. I do not ask the reader to accept them,
but to form his own conclusions from the facts
herein set forth.
BOOKS YOU MUST READ
SOONER OR LATER
Why J>fo1 Order f4cbip ?
lAT Story^ of _ the . West and the FarT East ,
By^Mrs. Ansel OppE;^raEiM.
4 Illus. $1.50.
Limited edition in leather, $2.00.
:<Kbe pr«M bas spokeo of UU book wltb uoqaaUfied term» of praloe.
TheXa^st of the Cav&li^rs
By N. J. Floyd.
^9 "Drawings and Author's Photo.
/"No wiser or more brilliant pen has told the story of
'the Civil War than CapL Floyd's ; no work more thrilling
Uimply as a romance has recently been within the reach
BOOKS YOV NVST READ
SOONER OR LATER
Told &t Twilight
By Eva Browne.
Aldelightful collection of stories and poems^,
By Sylvester Field. >
A unique work, proving that the "earthly paradise"
of the colored race is Africa. This book is decidedly
tbe best- work that has yet appeared on the subject. f
TKeJ^SiA of Ignorance
By Henrietta Siegel.
An exceedingly clever story, by a New York girl, who
'pictures with a fearless hand the domestic misery result-
ing from ^ drink and dissipation.
(4 special _ drawings.)
BOOKS YOU MUST R.EAD
SOONER. OR. LATER.
By Hadley S. Kimberlinq.
5 Illustrations byS. Klarr.
Here is a story whose artistic realism will appeal to
everyone, while its distinction as a serious novel is made
evident by its clever anaJysis, sparkling dialogue and
thrilling and powerful situations. "Llewellyn" will win
all hearts by her purity and charm.
Se^tatv of the Modern World
By E. G. Doyen..
l2mo, cloth, handsomely produced.
. ._ • . - ^
The title of this book will arouse curiosity, and its
brilliant contents will fully reward the wide public which
it will reach.
A Missourian*s Honor
By W. W. Arnold.,
Cloth, i2mo. $1.00.
BOOKS YOV NVST READ
SOONER OR. LATER
iBv MRa A. Gu Kintzei^,
^4 Drawings by Hartman.^
Decorated cover in black, red and go13^
Critics who have seen the book declare it'superior to
"Leave Me My Honor," the success which has recently
brought Mrs. Kintzel into prominence as a story-teller
who has something to say and can say it.'
"Sparkling from cover to cover."
Order now and join the processiot»_oii the autumn,
NAN e, SUE
"^By Harriet C. Cullaton^
You've no 'doubt heard of this book !"^ It ~ stands' att
alone in the originality of its title and subject, and every-
one knows how charming a subject "Nan & Sue, Ste-
nographers," must be. It is the diary of a typewritings
office in New York run by two young and pretty girls,
who have flie most amusing adventures. The book's ap-
pearance is as original and charming as Nan and Sue
BOOKS YOV MUST READ
SOONER OR LATER
The Instrument Tuned
By Rosa B. Hitt:
Attractive Binding, 75 cents.'.
Limited Edition in White and Gold, $CjOO,
I'An able and interesting work on a comparatively new
subject — Psycho-physical culture — of whose methods the
author has made successful application. The book is full
of common-sense suggestions and is admirably adapted
to the needs of humanity in general.
The chapter-captions will give an excellent idea of the.
comprehensive and practical character of the work:.
Various Therapeutic Agents.^
Influence of Mind.
Harmony the Law of NatOTeJ
All of the books named in this magazine to be had
'from any newsdealer, or
BOOKS YOU MUST READ
SOONER OR. LATER
A Tale of the Revolution
Bv WiLUBERT Davis and Claudia Brannom.
l2mo, cloth. Illustrated.
A fascinating story of the Revolutionary period, in
dramatic form, in which the treachery of Benedict
Arnold and the capture of Major Andre are the climaxes.
The loves of Andre and Marcelle (herself a spy) lend aj
very charming touch of romance.
The Burton Manor
A NOVEL i
By Rev. M. V. Brown.
i2mo, cloth. $1.50.
A most thoughtful, able and authoritative work in
Engaging narrative form, dealing with the existing evils
of the liquor trade. The author has wisely embodied
his conclusions in charming fiction— or fact? — and thus
the book will appeal to a public as wide as the continent.
BOOKS YOU NVST READ
SOONER. OR LATER
Kew Book by the Author of
A Girl and the Devil !
We beg to announce for autumn a new novel from
the pen of Jeannette Llewellyn Edwards, entitled
LOVE IN THE TROPICS
The scene of Miss Edwards' new work is laid in
strange lands, and a treat may be confidently prom-
ised the wide reading public whose interest in her first
book has caused it to run through over a dozen editions.
LOVE IN THE TROPICS"
tifill be ready about J^O'Oetnber 1, and
particular's tvill be duly announced,'
The New Woma.nhood
Bv Win XI FRED H. Cooley.
No more ongmal, strikmg and brilliant treatise on
the subject indicated by the title has been given the
vast public which is watchmg the widenmg of woman's
sphere. Mrs. Cooley is a lecturer and writer of many
years experience ; she is in the vanguard of the move-
ment and no one is better qualified to speak to the great
heart of womankind.